Books in the Wild is a podcast investigating the hidden stories behind books and printed matter. Instead of reviewing books for solely on their written content, we try to offer varying perspectives on everything from conception to creation to reception. This is a podcast about book arts: letterpress printing, bookbinding, artists' books, small press and independent publishing, and stories from book history.
Episode 20: Dictionary Words for 2020
2021-02-15Dictionaries are an ever-changing record of language, constantly being updated, amended and added to. This goes for all dictionaries: Merriam-Webster, Oxford English Dictionary, Collin’s. Updates to the dictionary can be new words entirely, or amendments for new meanings of existing words. As you can imagine, 2020 was a heck of a year with both Merriam-Webster and OED adding over 1,000 words, and Merriam-Webster just added over 500 more at the end of January 2021.
Episode 18: Quarantine Public Library, Zines, and Time
2021-01-11Today I talk a little about pandemic projects, zines, and artist’s books, and have a wonderful discussion with the Quarantine Public Library. The Quarantine Public Library (QPL) is a collaborative project dreamed up by artists Katie Garth and Tracy Honn in May of 2020. QPL is an online book repository that features downloadable and printable booklets. The single-sheet eight-fold zine (or “instabook” from episode 16) format is ideal because it’s a simple structure that really anyone can create. QPL isn’t a “zine library” so much as it is a collection of creative responses to the simple structure. The statement on the site reads: We wanted to make something to share as many of us are staying at home, disconnected from art, books, and one another. The project is not about COVID-19, but is explicitly of its time. With brisk attention, a lot of talking and correspondence, and the enthusiastic good will of generous artists who say yes, we offer this as a gift to share and circulate in a discombobulated time. The QPL site is entirely free, offering the booklets to download and print. There is an instructional video showing how to assemble each booklet yourself. I think in these strange times, there is something comforting about making things by hand, especially a structure that is so quick and easy. It provides a small but much-needed sense of accomplishment. All donations to QPL go to EveryoneOn.org, a non-profit that connects low-income families to affordable internet service and computers.
Episode 14: James Cook, Bookbinder & Murderer of John Paas, Tool Maker
2020-10-26This episode covers the true story of James Cook, a bookbinder who murdered tool engraver John Paas the town of Leicester, bookbinder James Cmurdered tool engraver John Paas over a dispute about brass finishing tools. The tale is particularly gruesome and well-documented because James Cook was the last person to be gibbeted in Britain. Then I interview contemporary bookbinder and tool maker Brien Beidler for some added perspective.
Episode 13: The Grey Lady of Willard Library
2020-10-12Willard Library is the oldest library in Evansville, IN, established in 1885. There have been reports of apparitions and poltergeist activity from patrons and employees of the library since 1937 that continue to this day. In this episode we will discuss the history of the library and talk with Library Director Greg Hager about some history, legends, and first hand spooky accounts
Episode 12: Book Talk with BookLab II
2019-03-04We at BookLab II have just returned from a fabulous but exhausting trip to the CODEX Symposium and Book Fair, held every other year in the Bay Area, California. Today I am joined by my fellow BookLab colleagues: Craig Jensen, conservator, master-binder and founder of BookLab, and Marc Hammonds, limited-edition binder and official BookLab apprentice. This episode is a conversation all about CODEX, book arts in general, how we discovered book arts, and maybe even a little book art gossip!
Episode 11: Fake News(papers)!
2018-03-13If you've ever watched any television shows or movies ever, you may have seen a familiar looking newspaper read by many fictional characters for decades. This exact same newspaper has been spotted in Scrubs, Modern Family, No Country for Old Men, Everyone Hates Chris, Back to the Future, Desperate Housewives, Charmed, That 70’s Show, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and even classics like Citizen Cane and Cincinnati Kid. Is this a newspaper conspiracy? No, not really. It is a stock item printed by the Earl Hays Press in California, a specialty shop that creates film props such as stock newspapers and recreations of "real" newspapers. fictional brands and products, and even fake IDs and currency. In this episode, we will dive a little deeper into the legendary newspaper, and the dos and don'ts of printing film props.