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[BKARTS] Hurricane Wilma & the Belated Book of Days



Hello Book Arts & Letterpress Lists:

I have learned now to be careful what I wish for. One thing I've been wishing for for months now is time: time to bind the new book Seth and I finished printing late last Autumn. You work crazy full time jobs all day long, and very often getting to work in the bindery or inking up the press takes a back seat to just decompressing. Who would have thought that a hurricane would be the solution that's handed down to me?

Eight days after Hurricane Wilma's blow through South Florida, we are slowly getting back to normal, though electricity is still not part of the equation. Back to normal means back to work, where I am typing this email, but at the Convivio Bookworks homebase in Lake Worth, we are still living it up in grand Luddite style, and, we are told, we may be without power for some time to come.

One result is that the Convivio Book of Days for November is late this year. We hope not very late, but late nonetheless. We'll let you know if we can manage a solution around this, and when. Another result is that we actually have a small but pleasing stack of bound copies of our newest book sitting under weights on the binding table. It's amazing how extremely low-tech bookbinding is, when you get right down to it. Seth and I spent the first few days after the storm removing hurricane shutters and then propping up blown down fences and clearing out all fallen tree limbs and blown roofing material. Next, we began to master the art of cooking meals by campfire (as well as bathing and shaving). And then, as long as there was daylight upon us, the most amazing thing happened: we got to peacefully bind books.

We do get the occasional generator plug-in, courtesy of our brother-in-law Pete, and we will update our website to reflect the availability of the new book, as well as some added items to our Book of Days Catalog, and, of course, the November Book of Days, as soon as is humanly possible, given the circumstances.

Our roof and fence damage, by the way, is not enough to meet our "Big Ole Florida Hurricane Deductible," so if you or others you know are in the market for handmade books and broadsides, or some of the really cool things available through our Book of Days Catalog (like authentic German Advent Calendars, genuine vintage German ornaments, nutcrackers, incense smokers and pyramids, and locally-made soaps... well, we would certainly appreciate your support! The Convivio Bookworks website is up and running again, and we are again able to ship orders. As soon as we have the capability to do so, we'll also be adding some new items to the Book of Days Catalog, including handmade tin ornaments and nativity scenes from Mexico, and functional stoneware pottery by our own Seth Thompson (Royal River Pottery ~ named for the river that runs behind his family home in Maine). Our website link is below.

As one of our loyal customers reminded us the other day: "You have a treadle press, don't you?" Yes, we could even be printing. But for now, we'll stick to the bookbinding, as long as there is daylight after work.

Thank you all for your support. Very often it comes to us simply in the form of kind words. We really appreciate it, and we appreciate it even more when we are put in place at times like this.
John



Convivio Bookworks John Cutrone & Seth Thompson, proprietors Book and broadsides, made by hand in Lake Worth, Florida. http://www.conviviobookworks.com

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