Archive for April, 2011

Return of The Intern

I’ve been battling a real diehard of a cold the last couple of weeks and managing not much of anything outside of work, but I did note the other day that a blog that I was sorry to see go on hiatus is now back. The Intern got me through a bout of unemployment a couple of years ago when I feared I might never find work again. She’s an unnamed now former intern with a large publishing house in New York. Or is wickedly inventive and possesses an uncanny knowledge of the innards of a such an establishment and of the industry in general. In any case, she is pretty funny and I am delighted to see she’s back, now writing from a farm in California but still with her finger on the pulse of the weirdness that is my chosen field. Check it out, and I will be back with some real live content as soon as my sinuses stop throbbing long enough to allow for the assemblage of a coherent thought or two.

Skulking in San Francisco

I spent last week in California, mainly in San Francisco, where there is some very good book shopping to be had. Here’s what I came back with:

From Aardvark Books (used) near the corner of Church and Market Street:
Selected Poems by Robinson Jeffers. Just a little Vintage paperback, but Jeffers, a California poet, has been on my to-read list for a couple of years now, so I decided to pounce in case I didn’t happen to see any other editions of his work during the visit. A few days later when we travelled south, I was able to read the poem “Morro Bay” in downtown Morro Bay while in view of the town’s legendary rock. Yes, this is the sort of dorky tourism I go in for.
An Oregon Message by William Stafford. The first poem is about writing in a journal and the last about riding a bicycle. Sold.

From Booksmith on Haight:
Sorry, Tree by Eileen Myles. A California poet, and an enticing cover design from Wave Books.
Praise by Robert Hass, who I suppose needs no introduction though I have read very little of his poetry.
In Search of Small Gods by Jim Harrison, of Legends of the Fall fame and a fellow Arizona enthusiast. (Also poetry.)

From William Stout Architectural Books on Montgomery Street:
An Essay on Typography by Eric Gill
Anatomy of a Typeface by Alexander Lawson
The Business of Books by André Schiffrin

William Stout is well worth a visit if you have any architectural, interior design, visual art interests. They have a small typography section downstairs and I spent most of my time there. The Eric Gill essay is, I understand, sort of a classic, and since Gill’s Joanna is one of my favourite fonts and one of the small handful I can pick out in a lineup, he is big in my would-be-expert world. The Lawson book is an in-depth look at the history and composition of thirty typefaces. Perhaps my repertoire of ones I can identify will have grown a bit by the time I’ve finished reading it. The Schiffrin I had heard nothing about previously, but the subtitle, “How International Conglomerates Took Over Publishing and Changed the Way We Read,” suggests a topic that looms fairly large in my life, so I couldn’t not get it.

The trip wasn’t all books, though. My sister and I also visited the Heath Ceramics shop at the Ferry Building for made-in-California dishware and glass jars, which then had to be carefully transported around the state, then through three airports, and finally home.