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Koob Stra letter, Jan. 1996



Dear Member,

        If you haven't seen *At Home With Books* yet, look for it in your
bookstore. It has great pictures of private libraries, including Paul
Getty, Ruth and Marvin Sackner, and we are prominently featured in it. Last
week I was on a panel at Barnes & Noble,  put together by Estelle Ellis,
one of the book's authors. Asked about who brings what to a bookbinder, I
talked about two very different books.
        One was a leather folio guest book of vintage handmade papers for a
Chateau in Normandy, which involved carving wax sculptures of the Prince's
heraldic emblems and casting them in vermeil for the bosses, clasps and
corners.
        The other was a repair of a cookbook for a woman who was a dietician for
50 years. She could have replaced the book at a used book store for $5, but
this particular copy, with its pages loose,  had food stains on all the
pages. It was the memories that those stains evoked that needed to be
preserved. When books are manufactured, every copy in the edition is
identical. But as soon as they are purchased, every copy becomes
individual. The book becomes a record of who read it-- the dog-eared pages,
the spill of coffee, the mark of a greasy finger, an eyelash caught in the
margin.
        Reading a book is an act of art. You change the book, and it changes you.

                                                        Love,

                                                        Richard Minsky
                                                        Founder and President


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