It's been a while since I've posted on book trade labels, but believe me, they are never far from my heart. Over Thanksgiving, the Mrs. and I took a pleasant trip to visit friends and our old stomping grounds in Oklahoma. Luckily for me I was able to include nearly all the surviving used and indie bookshops in Oklahoma City-- and a new one!
I made quite a haul home in my suitcase, and had to ship a goodly sized box back to Montana as well.
One of the books I bought on an impulse was Barbara Hodgson's The Tattooed Map. What initially caught my eye on the Clearance shelf at the new Half-Price Books in Edmond, OK was the Chronicle Books colophon on the spine-- these folks put out wonderful books. Always worth a flip through at the very least.
What a surprise when I did. It was a constant flow of beautiful ephemera reproduced throughout. Then, closer to the back, bookseller labels started popping up. I include here only three of the six. They came out a little blurry. I think my scanner is just too much for my rickety desk and that's what's causing that. They really are beautifully reproduced in the book. I found myself running my fingers over things and surprised it wasn't pasted in.
Maps, books, and ephemera play an important role throughout the story, although it really isn't about that. Newspaper clippings, receipts business cards, fold out maps, are complimented with exact details (like library stamps on the backs of maps) and handwritten lists and notes throughout.
As a story, it didn't blow me away, but it's gotten better in my mind with a few days of perspective. Hodgson has produced a few other books described as Illustrated Novels along similar principles, but this was my first. Hodgson's more recent book, Trading In Memories, about being an ephemera hunter, has moved from my "Acquire On Sight" list to "Acquire Now" list.