It’s 3:15 in the afternoon on December 23, and the last of these has shipped. Happy holidays to everyone, and thanks for making 2014 such a great year for Honey & Wax!
(Bookish requests for 2015 welcome, but give me a few days.)
And in happy local news: this Saturday, December 6, jump-start your holiday shopping at the Third Annual Brooklyn Holiday Book Fair, featuring rare, vintage and out-of-print books from independent booksellers all over Brooklyn.
Cara Schlesinger of Faenwyl Bindery will run an all-ages bookmaking demonstration at 12 PM. And at 2 PM, the brilliant Maira Kalman will be on hand to sign her new book, My Favorite Things, a tribute to the power of special objects, and the ideal holiday gift for the collector (or hoarder) on your list.
Hope to see you all Saturday!
Just home from a packed, rushed expatriate Thanksgiving in London, where I spent 72 hours shopping for holiday gifts (yours, mine, everyone’s) and restocking the Honey & Wax shelves. Keep an eye on the website as the new books arrive!
On the flight home, I settled in with Vanity Fair’s 2014 holiday gift guide, featuring our signed variorum edition of Yeats.Honey & Wax: standing by, for all your seasonal poetry needs.
Why am I formatting show cards and updating the Honey & Wax blog at 3:25 AM? There can be only one reason: the Boston Shadow Show, officially known as the Boston Book, Print, and Ephemera Show, is happening this Saturday, November 15, from 8 AM to 4 PM at the Back Bay Events Center. Come say hello! I’ll be drinking coffee in Booth D42.
One of my new year’s resolutions has come to pass, a mere eight months into 2014. You can now follow Honey & Wax on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram:
All Honey & Wax, all the time, on these four platforms.
No kids or cats will be posted, unless they are bookish and/or for sale.
Instagram’s probably the best. Seriously. Check it out:
If you work with rare books in New York City, chances are you’ve crossed paths with Jessica Pigza, dedicated rare book librarian at the New York Public Library and DIY style icon. Jessica just published a terrific new book, Bibliocraft: A Modern Crafter’s Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects (Abrams, 2014).
When Jessica asked Honey & Wax to partner on a bibliocraft night in Brooklyn, there was no way I could say no.
We mined the Honey & Wax shelves for images that would inspire a simple, striking craft: hand-embroidered notecards. Park Slope’s Community Bookstore provided the space, Jessica provided the materials, and everybody got to work:
Found inside a secondhand book over Easter weekend: a mid-century bookmark from James Thin, Edinburgh bookseller and stationer. Muriel Spark wrote all her novels in 72-page notebooks from James Thin. If you remind me, this comes free with your next Muriel Spark order from Honey & Wax. Telegrams: “Bookman,” Edinburgh — boom.
Last night, I had a question about Jonathan Swift, and pulled down my college copy of The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century, bought during my first week at Columbia in 1989. (Parenthetical note: why was a teenager with a sketchy command of English history allowed to take Augustan literature before Middle English and the Renaissance? Where was my advisor? Did I even have an advisor? “Absalom and Achitophel”? Anyhow. I guess it worked out.)
Browsing through Swift, I came across the heavily-highlighted, vaguely-recalled Spider and Bee episode from “The Battle of the Books,” in which the arrogant Modern Spider (scientific, self-reliant, predatory) argues with the serene Ancient Bee (philosophical, collaborative, beneficial). Swift’s sympathies, in 1704, lay squarely with the Bee, who “with long search, much study, true judgment, and distinction of things, brings home honey and wax.” Aesop gets the last word: “As for us the Ancients, we are content with the Bee to pretend to nothing of our own beyond our wings and our voice, that is to say, our flights and our language. For the rest, whatever we have got, has been by infinite labour and search and ranging through every corner of nature; the difference is that, instead of dirt and poison, we have rather chosen to fill our hives with honey and wax, thus furnishing mankind with the two noblest of things, which are sweetness and light.”
Not the quote I was after, but I’m glad it’s the one I found.