Monday, June 30, 2014

S16: Winner Take All

On the eve of Canada Day here’s a submission celebrating some of what makes this country awesome – vast swaths of wilderness to commune with nature.

Book: Winner Take All: The Trans-Canada Canoe Trail
Submitted by: Wesley Fok

Written by David Lavender and published in 1977, this is one one of the books in the American Trails Series. A few blurbs from inside:

"First and last it was a commercial highway and in that respect unique in the English-speaking world. Commerce was not the whole of the story, however. Adventure, challenge, spaciousness, contact with the Indians among whom many of the men found enduring loves, the white immensity of winter, the flash of sunlit water across granite boulders--those things, too, were part of the lure.

Innocent in their greed, the trail's creators were the first despoilers of native life, both animal and Indian. But they were not aware of what they were doing--a doing that many of them cherished intensely. 'They pulled the wilderness round them like a cloak,' wrote historian Bernard De Voto; 'they wore its beauty like a crest.' "
                        --Prologue: A Long Trail Awinding

Monday, June 23, 2014

OT10: Alice in Wonderland

Recently I ran into a collector of Lewis Carroll’s works and was reminded of a couple books I picked up last year and really should have showcased them sooner.

Not a matched pair but close.
Just a pair of brothers in politics, right?

About this time last year The Monkey’s Paw threw an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party, complete with delicious Eat Me cookies and mysterious Drink Me elixirs (it was tequila. It’s always tequila…). Along with the food and dressing up, they also put up a table full of antiquarian and hard to find editions of Carroll’s works.

Apparently Carroll in Latin is still Carroll.

Coming in a bit late, I missed out on the Chinese copies and some Slavic ones with gorgeous watercolour plates but did manage to score these two Latin copies of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

Who doesn't like playing with text?

The useful languages.

Alice in Wonderland ranks quite high on the list of children’s books I grew up on, placing somewhere above Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and just under The Little Prince (both of which were also read to me in Chinese by my mother when I was a kid). Whenever I come across a unique or old edition I tend to snap it up and add it to my collection so when I saw these they were instant buys.

Almost a useful tutorial.

Poems are kind of easy when everything ends in o's and m's.

Who knows, one day I might want to learn Latin and children’s books are always handy for picking up a new language. There’s gotta be a market for people who know dead languages, right?

Goo Goo G'joob.

Monday, June 16, 2014

S15: A Manual of Engineering Drawing For Students and Draftsmen

As they say, you can’t win ‘em all. While this week’s Biblio-Mat book may not be the most exciting, but at least it's somewhat interesting (if you are into engineering drawings of sorts. There’s a niche for everything, right?). Always remember, though, things could be worse.

Book: A Manual of Engineering Drawing For Students and Draftsmen
Submitted by: Pat Healy

From Pat:

This tome by Thomas E. French was surprisingly dry. I know you can't judge a book by its cover, but you kinda can by its title. The full title when you open up the book is "A Manual of Engineering Drawing for Students and Draftsmen." Now maybe it's because I'm neither a student nor a draftsman, but I get the feeling that Mr. French was definitely not trying to rope anybody in who was outside of his target demographic.

I am torn about whether to leave this book in the drawer at my hotel room (the Gideons haven't gotten here yet to leave a Bible) or to bring it to my grandfather's grave (he was a draftsman of sorts). It's kinda heavy and as far as I know, dead people don't read, so I'm thinking I'll go with the former option. Or maybe I'll just read it and go to his gravesite and tell him what I've learned. Yeah, that's what I'll do. Here goes ... Commence reading!

Okay, "Preface to the Sixth Edition ... In the successive editions of this book the aim has been to keep abreast of modern engineering practice, adding new material in text and problems with each revision. Quoting from the previous preface, a course in drawing consists essentially of a series of problems given in connection with assigned study of ....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"

Monday, June 9, 2014

S14: Wood’s Natural History (Revisited!)

It was the Dundas West Street Festival this weekend so I dropped by for the collage party at the Monkey’s Paw and of course had to try my luck with the Biblio-Mat while I was there. Lo and behold, a blast from the past:

Once again, not a book about the history of wood.

Title: Wood’s Natural History

It’s rare for the Biblio-Mat to vend out books that are similar and even rarer that the same title would be in there, let alone make itsway to the hands of someone who received another edition a year ago. But then again, the Biblio-Mat is nothing if not random.

Next year I hope to get the 1910 edition.
Still creepy.
The funny thing is that the one I got last year was published in 1912, the revised edition to this 1911 one. Both had the nameplates on the cover filled in but this copy was more legible. 

Yep, definitely from the 1910's cause in 30 years...
Smaller and more wood-like.
Overall, a curious addition to the book collection. Who woulda thunk this Wood guy was so popular.

Monday, June 2, 2014

OT9: Collage Party

This Saturday marks the annual Dundas Street Festival in Toronto and along with it, the annual Monkey’s Paw Collage Party. If you are in the area, I highly recommend checking it out. The Monkey’s Paw will have a table where you can create art out of old and antiquarian books and magazines that Stephen assures are beyond salvage (although people will try).

The details

Date: June 7, 2014 11:00am-4:00pm
Address: The Monkey’s Paw at 1229 Dundas St. West, Toronto

Even if you’re not into cutting and gluing up old texts in the name of art, the Dundas Street Fest still has a lot going on, including street performers, sidewalk sales, and patios upon patios laid out everywhere since they close off the street. Some pics from last year:

My collage, because who doesn't like rhinos?

Another collage form a fellow animal lover.

Street performers everywhere!

A fundraising booth where you could get your portrait
drawn by an elementary schooler for a few bucks.

Of course I had one done.

These two performers busted out a Victorian vibrator and none were
 the wiser except for the Asian guy laughing his ass off at the front.

Patios and stalls everywhere.