The Pope's Bookbinder: A Memoir

The Pope's Bookbinder: A Memoir


"Entertaining, relocating, informative, intelligently hopeful: i do know of few different books like this one to hot the cockles of a booklover's heart." —Alberto Manguel

"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.

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