The Pope's Bookbinder: A Memoir
"For someone who loves books too well—who lusts after them, lives in them, mainlines them—David Mason’s memoir can be a repair from heaven. Heartful, cantankerous, droll, his stories of honour and obsession within the alternate gratify the very book-love they painting. An impossible to resist read." —Dennis Lee
"An atmospheric, informative memoir via a Canadian vendor of used and infrequent books ... Gossipy, rambling and mesmerizing, alive with Mason’s love for books of each variety."—Kirkus Reviews
From his drug-hazy, book-happy years close to the Beat resort in Paris and all through his occupation as antiquarian publication broker, David Mason brings us a storied lifestyles. He discovers his love of literature in a tub at age 11, thumbing via stacks of lurid Signet paperbacks. At fifteen he’s expelled from institution. For the following decade and a part, he'll paintings unusual jobs, greenback all authority, purchase books extra frequently than nutrients, and waft round Europe. He’ll aid gild a quantity in white morocco for Pope John XXIII. after which, on the age of 30, after returning domestic to Canada and apprenticing with Joseph Patrick Books, David Mason will locate his calling.
Over the process what's now a mythical overseas occupation, Mason indicates unerring instincts for the common sense of the exchange. He makes reliable cash from Canadian versions, either valid and pirated (turns out Canadian piracies so incensed Mark Twain that he moved to Montreal for 6 months to achieve copyright protection). He outfoxes the cousins of L.M. Montgomery at public sale and blackmails the pinnacle of the Royal Ontario Museum. He excoriates the bureaucratic pettiness that obstructs public acquisitions, he trumpets the ingenuity of creditors and scouts, and in documents world wide he appraises heritage in its unsifted and so much relocating types. mainly, although, David Mason boldly campaigns for what he feels is the ethical responsibility of the antiquarian exchange: to maintain the background and traditions of all international locations, and to say with out compromise that such histories have worth.
Sly, gleaming, and endearingly gruff, The Pope's Bookbinder is an engrossing memoir through a massive within the booklet trade—whose infectious enthusiasm, human perception, advertisement shrewdness, and deadpan humour will satisfaction bibliophiles for many years to come.
Toronto famous person, who had met and photographed each significant literary and express enterprise personage who gone through Toronto. And Brian Kennedy, who initially got here in looking Margaret Atwood first variations as presents for his spouse. He and that i had lengthy chats and he took an interest in accumulating himself. After a section, i began loaning him books on books and this grew to become a typical incidence until eventually in the future he again numerous and whilst I requested if he sought after a few new ones, he acknowledged, “No, I’ve learn sufficient, I’m.
Such arbitrary craziness; there has been not likely a certainly one of us who hadn’t performed an analogous factor for both silly purposes, defying basic financial experience, even though not at all with rather these monetary outcomes. We’ll promote the books to another individual ultimately, they without doubt felt. We didn’t starve for 50 years to place up with these smart-alecky punks now that it now not issues. And this kind of behaviour isn't really unusual both, might be one other of the numerous purposes booksellers die.
Inherited his grandfather’s library (almost constantly one other of the giveaways that the books are stolen) and one sees that the handwriting at the clean pages is that of a pal or colleague, suspicion is quick. “No,” I acknowledged. “I’ll check.” I checked, and located that the booklet had now not been bought. I went over to Temple’s and we tested the books. Others had marks in my hand and in these of a number of different purchasers. a few could have been bought yet too many didn’t healthy his recognized pursuits. We.
and that i grew to become particularly fluent. I learn little sleek Spanish background simply because Franco’s censors allowed purely their model of occasions to be released. yet so deep was once my fascination that again in Canada i stopped up with an enormous choice of a few books at the Spanish Civil warfare, now within the collage of Toronto. After 3 years, within which I discovered the necessities of bookbinding, I left Spain and lower back to Paris the place I lived in a seedy lodge (even then, $2.00 an evening intended simply what.
On those ludicrously compromised forums. Richard Landon of the collage of Toronto wouldn’t permit them in his library. the one time i do know of them being within the Thomas Fisher infrequent booklet Library used to be whilst the govt ordered it after wondering an appraisal performed by means of Robert Wright and me, which they didn’t think used to be well worth the close to half-million determine we got here up with. Wright and that i had spent 3 days assessing this archive; NAAB spent hours figuring out it was once worthy round $75,000.00. In.