Sunday, September 27, 2009

Let's Celebrate a Book Lover's Birthday!

What are you doing on January 24th? The date falls on a Sunday in 2010, and Phoebe and I are hosting a tea party. We'll have home-baked cakes and dog biscuits, our very best rags and repurposed socks and other paraphernalia, and our favorite people, all eager to enjoy a book care bash in honor of a biblio-immortal.

January 24th is the birthday of Richard de Bury, an Englishman whose learning impressed no less a light than Petrarch. De Bury knew how to celebrate a birthday: on his 58th, in 1345, he completed his Philobiblon, often cited as the first book to extol book collecting.

In honor of de Bury and his creation, I'll ask every guest invited for the 24th to bring a book that has a problem. This will be a birthday party at which books, which always make the best presents, will get the gifts: whatever care they need.

I don't know if de Bury ever had a dog, but I know he had an impressive library that he loved the way dog lovers love dogs. He didn't just acquire; he cared about books' survival and well-being. Would he object if we undertook a vast and cheerful book care mission in his name?

Phoebe and I hope that you and your dogs, your friends and your books, will join us with a celebration of your own. We can compare recipes and exchange notes on repairs. We can make it an annual event, with global reach.

Is book care a chore? No! It's a wonderful new reason to have a party.

1 comment:

  1. Literary Advocates Redefine Their World Without Books
    Read it at