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  • 0 read more Outside of the Text

    Outside of the Text

    by Jeffrey S. Peachey

    A book conservator often enters into public perception heavily colored by, and often confused with, romantic notions of a “Master Craftsman,” “Master Bookbinder” or “Master Restorer.” In a world where many use their hands only to tap at a keyboard or lift a cup of coffee, the idea of a craftsman seems refreshingly simple, a bit anachronistic, very poetic and entirely appealing. Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately!) these romantic ideas of a bookbinder bear little resemblance to what I do.

    Although the terminology is somewhat debatable, in North America a bookbinder is usually someone who makes new fine bindings ...

  • 0 read more Publishing: The Seeds of New Growth

    Publishing: The Seeds of New Growth

    by Jane Hiebert-White

    Sometimes change creeps up on you, slowly, without clear signposts marking the shift from point A to point B. Other times, change detonates – blasting a hole in what was and clearing the way for the new.

    From my vantage point as a publisher at a scholarly journal in 2010, the bomb of disruptive innovation has gone off. The casualty list in the world of publishing is staggering: newspapers, newsweeklies, journals, consumer magazines.

    “Not Gourmet,” I moan! I have box upon box of back issues. Okay, they’re up in the attic. At my parents’ house. I can always go ...

  • 0 read more A Series of Fortunate Events: Becoming an Academic Librarian

    A Series of Fortunate Events: Becoming an Academic Librarian

    by Marta Brunner

    I didn't set out to be an academic librarian. In fact, one might say that the option was often literally staring me in the face, but it never occurred to me to consider librarianship as a career. Only through a series of fortunate events did I end up in what I think is my perfect job.

    Why do I like academic librarianship so much? I get to teach, I get to do research, I get to write, I get to buy books and scholarly resources. I get to bring order to apparent chaos. I get to work with people ...

  • 1 read more Chopsticks


    by Dora Dueck

    The year I was eleven and Danny was ten, our parents enrolled us in piano lessons with a woman named Mrs. Jackson, who lived in the next town over. She was a plump, careless woman and was, perhaps, the only person in the area available for instruction of this kind. Even as a child, new to the instrument, I realized the limitations of her musical gifts. She laughed a great deal and seemed to clamor over the keys.

    After Mrs. Jackson had exhausted our lessons before their allotted time, she showed off on the piano while we watched “I Love ...

  • 0 read more The Day I Saw Bigfoot at the Zoo

    The Day I Saw Bigfoot at the Zoo

    by Ryan Ahlgrim

    The special invitation came in the mail. Inside an oversized envelope, on a cream-colored heavy stock card, embossed lettering announced:

    The Indianapolis Zoo is proud to present


    Be among the first in the world

    to see this legendary creature

    on display in a beautifully prepared exhibit.

    The date and time of the grand opening followed—along with the jacked-up price. Without hesitation I marked my calendar and sent in my online reservation.

    Bigfoot had been captured by two amateur hunters the previous summer deep in the Oregon woods. Gordon Buller and Timothy Krennick became overnight celebrities as they retold the ...

  • 0 read more His Baby Bird of the Day

    His Baby Bird of the Day

    by Linda Wendling

    …if your killer is the nicest person you know, it is time to move away…

    On my very last day--this day Turner Hadden is coming to kill me (but he doesn't know it yet)--I can’t concentrate on yeah-I’m-about-to-die because I am (weirdly) remembering the day Jesus appeared at my window and pressed my purple feet into his armpit. But of course nobody but me believes in this. But I know what I saw. I. DID. NOT. MAKE. HIM. UP.

    Anyway, this day I am supposed to be out on the street, working, but Cheyenne’s “Frontier Days” are over ...

  • 2 read more

    From "The Book on Fire"

    by Keith Miller

    Excerpt: The Library of Alexandria

    In tremendous caverns, bookshelves lifted tier upon tier into the gloom. Long ladders were affixed to the shelves, which I climbed, up to the ceiling. I perched there at the edge of a cliff of books, and looked across the canyon. It was as if a river, in carving its valley, had exposed strata of titles. Other rooms were mere nooks, no bigger than a cupboard, with space enough for a single bookcase.

    I read impossibly gorgeous scripts. Scripts in which each hieroglyph filled a page and took a day to write, but could express ...

  • 0 read more From "The Man in the Green Plaid Sport Coat"

    From "The Man in the Green Plaid Sport Coat"

    by Tim Stair

    Chapter 1

    Be careful at family reunions. I wouldn’t have gotten stuck in a basement in South Bronx with a gun in my hand if it hadn’t been for a conversation at my family reunion. So, in one sense, this story is my Uncle Pastor Lester’s fault.

    I’d gone to the reunion to try to reconnect with family, and see if I could dig up a little work. Work had been slow. I own a business: Finders-Keepers. I find things for people. Seriously. Want to find that rare 1800’s armoire to finish off your penthouse bedroom? Or want to reconnect ...

  • 0 read more From "The Other Side of the River"

    From "The Other Side of the River"

    by Janice L. Dick

    Chapter 1

    Alexandrovka, Slavgorod Colony, Western Siberia — 1926

    The schoolhouse door burst open, ushering in a cold March wind and two Soviet officials, their guns directed at the group of young adults gathered for a Sunday afternoon songfest.

    Luise Letkemann’s fingers froze on the strings of her mother’s violin, and her bow skittered off the strings as she whirled to face them. From the corner of her eye she saw Daniel move across the room to her side. A frown had replaced the look of love that had lit his eyes a moment ago.

    Luise slipped the violin beneath ...

  • 1 read more From "Foot of Pride"

    From "Foot of Pride"

    by John Liechty

    Chapter 7: In This World

    Fretz – “Mister John” to his students -- holding a degree in literature from Wolverine State University, with a certificate on the side to teach English as a foreign language, hunches in an effluvium of garlic over a banked console of switches and lights – a modest sample of the sort of classroom gadgetry deemed essential at King Khalifa Higher College of Petrochemicals and Modern Technology, Ras al Hamara. The students are grinding out paragraphs. They have four pictures to prod them through their process descriptions on How Electricity is Made.

    Picture One: Man in hardhat ...