Archive for June, 2007

Funny… or sad, one of those two…

“The buying of more books than one can possibly read is the soul’s way of aspiring towards infinity.”


June 21, 2007 at 1:28 pm 4 comments

Good Start to the Week

second_prizeI found out early this morning that I won Second Place in Kimbooktu’s book gadget contest!

I invented a “book cloak” that you can make yourself (follow the link for simple instructions) to hide books you’re embarrassed to be seen reading in public. I never in a million years thought I’d actually win anything, to be honest – some of the other inventions were so funny and outrageous that I thought sure my mundane little gadget would fall by the wayside. But it didn’t, and now it shall forever live in Kimbooktu infamy. 🙂

In addition to a cute trophy graphic, Second Place receives:

When I receive my prizes I’ll take a picture (both for y’all, and at Kimbooktu’s request).

I’m very excited about the prizes, but much more so about creating something that people found interesting and useful. Thank you so much if you voted for me. This really inspires me to keep doing and creating. 🙂

June 18, 2007 at 6:53 am 2 comments

Fishing Diary, Revisited

Lesley left me a comment a few days ago asking for more information about Muriel Fisher’s Fishing Diary, so I took a few pictures to share.

Apparently Muriel was a very interesting, active woman and an avid “fisherwoman.” Throughout her life, she kept a fishing diary. Now, to someone like myself who is not a serious angler, the idea of a fishing diary seems kind of odd. A quick Google Search, however, shows that plenty of people keep detailed and illustrated diaries of their fishing exploits. There’s even fishing diary software you can buy! I suppose it makes sense; if you love to fish, you would want to keep a record of your trips so that you remember the best places, the big catches, and the good times. Really, is it so different from this blog? This is a fishing diary in many ways, only the fish I catch happen to be books…

Anyway, Muriel kept this particular fishing diary for many years, starting in 1913. Each page is filled not only with notes but with lush illustrations of the wildlife, fish, and landscapes Muriel saw while out on the water. It’s a beautiful book even if you have no interest in fishing. She was a talented illustrator.

Years later, Muriel’s grandchild found the diary and decided that it ought to be shared with a broader audience than the family circle. Her efforts led to the creation of a facsimile book, very much similar to Muriel’s original diary. It was published in 1980 and apparently met with sufficient success that it was re-released 16 years later. My copy is the first edition.

The book comes in a nice little box. When I first saw it I thought it was probably some sort of Hallmark gift book.


Inside the box, the volume is bound in leather with a gold-stamped title. Let us all spare a moment in recognition of my wrath at people who put price stickers on nice book covers.


There is an inscription inside the front cover. The purchaser gave it to his (?) fishing buddies as a momento of all the good times they had shared and the good times he hoped to share in the future. I love a good book inscription, and always try to remember to write in the books I give as gifts. They just add that extra bit of story…


One of the most elaborate of the illustrations – practically an illuminsted manuscript – right at the front:


A few more examples of the art and entries:



As time progressed – and we’re talking something like 30 years here – the illustrations become simpler and the handwriting less clear. The totals decrease as well, indicating either lack of vigor in the anglers or evolution of the fishing spots. Muriel’s aging process is visible on the pages, although she rarely refers to any personal details: here, a mention of a friend’s injured leg; there, a brief reference to arthritis.

The back of the book is devoted to tables and illustrations that teach how to weigh and measure a fish.


Really a beautiful book. If you can find a copy – I suspect the 1996 edition is the same as the 1980 – it would make a very nice addition to the library of your favorite angler, naturalist, illustrator, or bibliophile.

June 17, 2007 at 8:25 pm 3 comments

Disturbing Product

I could do without the sound effects, honestly.

It’s a cat butt pencil sharpener! The most unusual pencil sharpener you’ll find on anyone’s desk! Simply stick your pencil into the cats behind, sharpen and hear it meow!


Now available at Perpetual Kid!

June 12, 2007 at 2:47 pm 2 comments





My furbodies: d’Artagnan, Sophie, and Paisley.

June 12, 2007 at 8:12 am Leave a comment

Acquiring Minds

I haven’t had time to do anything, much less blog, but I seized a few moments of retail therapy over the weekend. It wasn’t my fault – we had to go to the library for homeworky purposes on Saturday, which put me in shooting distance of their used book store, and then I had to walk right past the sexy new Borders on Sunday, and what’s a girl to do?

First, the used book extravaganza.

The Book of Three ($3 in hardcover with slipcover) and The Black Cauldron ($2 in paperback), by Lloyd Alexander. Despite different bindings, they’re of a matching edition. I’d like to try to polish off the series.

Fire – Sebastian Junger ($2 in paperback)

Muriel Foster’s Fishing Diary – Muriel Foster ($3 in hardcover with box). Okay, so this was quite the find. It’s a beautiful book, oddly shaped. I was intrigued by it and bought it, thinking it might be a start for a book arts collection. Just now, when I looked it up, I came to realize that I’d purchased for $3 a $176 book. Whoo team used book stores!

Speaking of finds… Collected Poems, Originally Published in Paris, Pirated Edition by Ernest Hemingway, 1960. A little pamphlet. Paid $1. Worth over $80. Whoo!

Quarrels that have Shaped the Constitution – John A. Garraty, ed. ($2 in paperback), A Short History of the United States – Allan Nevins & Henry Steele Commager ($2 hardcover with slipcover), and Of Paradise and Power: America and Europe in the New World Order – Robert Kagan ($3.00 hardcover with slipcover). For husband’s growing political/history library. The latter has a beautifully letterpressed slipcover.

Gods & Heroes: Myths and Epics of Ancient Greece – Gustav Schwab ($3 in paperback). I remember this being a really good mythology reference… has nice illustrations.

How 2 Write Love Poems that Don’t Suck – C. Weigl ($1.50 in paperback). Okay, it’s silly on the surface – it’s hot pink, for Pete’s sake – but there are some really good tips and exercises in it that I think I might could incorporate in a class at some point in the future. Maybe I’ll share some later.

And finally, what may be my favorite find: an obviously much-loved copy of Burn’s Poems, bound in paper that looks like green alligator skin – or maybe it is alligator skin and it’s just been worn down to this state – with an inscription on the first page: “Ned Thomas, Dec. 25, 1914.” The book falls open to two poems, “Delia” and “Epistle to a Young Friend.” $10.

Then, the Borders trip:

Eleanor and Franklin: The Story of their Relationship based on Eleanor Roosevelt’s Private Papers. Joseph P. Lash, $5.99, hardcover.

H.G. Well’s The War of the Worlds. Unabridged… $1.25, paperback.

And finally, my guilty pleasure…

June 11, 2007 at 8:40 pm 1 comment

‘Til You Drop!

More fun eShopping for booklovers, with a huge hat tip to Kimbooktu for leading me to the British Library and Bodleian Library online shops!

First, though: if you’re going to go shopping, you’ll need a good bag for all your purchases.


You have to admire the subtlety of something like these bookends. So obvious, and yet so rarely seen! They’d be practically invisible on the shelf. My only criticism is that they are volumes 1 and 2, but would never be shelved adjacent to one another – a dead giveaway that something was amiss.

If you remember the old Penguin classics, you’ll probably get as much of a kick out of these bags, pencils, and household items

L_Penguin_OrangeBag L_Penguin_Pencils d1_Penguin_TeaTowel_Woolf

I love bookplates, but hate that they come in tiny little expensive packages. Personally, it’s all about buying the package of Avery labels, designing my own plates, and printing them off by the hundred. That doesn’t mean I don’t like a good bookplate when I see one, though…

I think your boss and/or professor would have to have an awfully good sense of humor to risk this particular trick, but they are hilarious. They’re book covers to put over a “regular” book (hey, is my Book Cloak invention being infringed upon? Where’s my patent lawyer?) to make it more… interesting.


This will I send, and something else more plain,
That shall express my true love’s fasting pain…


My husband and I went to Washington D.C. on our honeymoon and toured the National Cathedral. Their gift shop has some beautiful things, including this ring that I just love. Not only do I really like the message, but it is beautifully and practically designed. The inner design spins around so you can read the entire message without rotating the actual ring on your finger.


Speaking of jewelry, I have and love this bracelet. Highly recommended.

When it comes to your love of books, it can be hard to wear your heart on your sleeve while being fashionable. This website has a number of cute shirts and other garments, many of which are definitely aimed at elementary school teachers, but there are some that would appeal to a wider audience. Below, I’ve included two examples; the red one just makes me giggle, so I had to share.

Another site that sells bibliophile-appropriate clothing, but seriously needs a website makeover, is here. They’re worth a visit if only for the possibility of having a shirt imprinted thusly:


And finally, that just screams my name:


An addendum, because you can never have too much flair :

June 4, 2007 at 11:34 am 1 comment

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