Argument in favour of the physical book, no.103: where are you going to write your sweetly evocative gift inscriptions, to be wondered at by strangers seventy years after, on an e-book?
The Tall Girl’s Handbook, 1959. Inscribed by the author, with personal letter to another tall girl laid in, excerpted above. A pre-women’s lib secret sorority of tall women with corresponding troubles poignantly alluded to.
So, as 200-year-old bookplates go, this one really hits that sweet spot between ornamental and terrifying. My dreams have been genuinely unsettled since this early edition of Swift’s Tale of a Tub entered the shop. Guess the magic formula is one part nowed sea snake, one part darting homunculus.
We have exactly one record for sale and it’s a doozie: the ultra-rare 1960s spoken word/West Coast psych (sub-genre: “Barely Listenable”) LP Awake in th Red Desert by bill bissett & Th Mandan Massacre.
Meanwhile up in the heart of Hastings-Sunrise, a new shop has opened selling lots of vinyl and more than a few excellent books, too. Welcome horsesrecords (and Books) - and consider that this is the FOURTH bookstore to open in Vancouver in the past year-or-so. Maybe Vancouver isn’t just real estate and yoga and scenic-beauty-at-the-expense-of-all-seriousness, but also a city of sophisticated readers and local shoppers? What a town!
Goodie-bag book: bought it out of a passing but inexpert interest in the subject, then so delighted to discover:
1. Inscription by the author (preeminent Arkansas lady cryptographer, code-name Piccola, no big deal) to “Ubique” her “cipher-friend”.
2. Crisp, bright 1945 Victory Loan certificate.
3. Half-finished 1953 cryptogram and crossword puzzle from Halifax Chronicle-Herald (I’m working on it!).
4. Reinforcement of my fave argument for the physical book: little history capsule.
Happy Canada Day! Celebrating with a new section: NO PIPELINE.