As those of you who regularly follow me may notice, I have been MIA for about a month now. For most of the month, I have no excuse other than being really busy. But who isn’t? I hope to start doing better. Though last week, from July 17 – July 22, 2016, I have an excuse! I was at the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar in Colorado Springs! I tend to post about books I have read, but this week I am going to change things up a bit and tell you about the rare book seminar I attended.
The Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (CABS) was a lot of fun, but also intense, informative, and challenging. Sunday, I flew in to Colorado where I met the specialty dealer speaker, Don Lindgren of Rabelais Fine Books, on the shuttle from Denver to Colorado Springs. Don and his wife sell cookbooks and other culinary books in their store in Maine and online. It was neat getting to know him briefly on the ride and I really enjoyed his talk on Wednesday about his personal bookselling experiences.
Did I mention this week was intense? Monday we received an overview of the week, learned about the bookselling business as a whole, and began our sessions on books as a physical object and bibliography. I received so much information on that first day that I was grateful to have a relaxing chuck wagon dinner with my fellow classmates and the faculty. Colorado College was an ideal location for the seminar. The location is gorgeous with the mountains to the west and convenient with downtown Colorado Springs in walking distance to the south.
Tuesday through Thursday we had intense classes, covering all areas of bookselling, collecting, and evaluating books as objects. My favorite classes were about observing the book as a physical object. Some aspects I already knew, having worked in Special Collections in some capacity since 2011, but I learned a lot too. Terry Belanger taught the basics of collation and gave a general history of the book, but my favorite class of his was about bookbinding. I loved the overview of bookbinding history and understanding why they bound or bind books the way they do. For example, I learned that in the mid-1800s, bookbinders discovered that a cardboard and cloth combination used for ladies’ hats could also be used for book covers!
On Friday, more was discussed about selling to libraries. This not only benefitted the booksellers, but also the librarians in the room. The faculty did an excellent job explaining the condition of modern American libraries, how and what they are buying, and what can be done to help support library collections. As I am not a curator, this was all good information for me to understand a bit more about the acquisition process of special collections and libraries in general. Katherine Reagan from Cornell was the librarian on the faculty. She and her fellow bookseller faculty members explained how libraries and booksellers are a part of the same team and we need to work together to help preserve our history through books, ephemera, and other items. I am blessed to work in a library and am looking forward to seeing how libraries continue to grow and evolve throughout my career!!
As a side note: on Tuesday night, my friend who lives in Colorado, visited me in Colorado Springs. We drove to Manitou Springs. That place is awesome and you should all go check out the penny arcade!
P.S. On the plane to Colorado, I read Relish. I will be writing up a post on that graphic novel soon! I promise.