Books in the Wild is a podcast investigating the hidden stories behind books and printed matter. Instead of reviewing books for solely on their written content, we try to offer varying perspectives on everything from conception to creation to reception. This is a podcast about book arts: letterpress printing, bookbinding, artists' books, small press and independent publishing, and stories from book history.
Dictionary Words for 2020
Dictionaries are an ever-changing record of language, constantly being
updated, amended and added to. This goes for all dictionaries:
Merriam-Webster, Oxford English Dictionary, Collin’s.
Updates to the dictionary can be new words entirely, or amendments for new
meanings of existing words. As you can imagine, 2020 was a heck of a year
with both Merriam-Webster and OED adding over 1,000 words, and
Merriam-Webster just added over 500 more at the end of January 2021.
Episode 19: The Book Makers Film
Talk with filmmaker James Kennard and book maker Mark Sarigianis about the documentary film The Book Makers
Episode 18: Quarantine Public Library, Zines, and Time
Today I talk a little about pandemic projects, zines, and artist’s books, and have a wonderful discussion with the Quarantine Public Library.
The Quarantine Public Library (QPL) is a collaborative project dreamed up by artists Katie Garth and Tracy Honn in May of 2020. QPL is an online book repository that features downloadable and printable booklets. The single-sheet eight-fold zine (or “instabook” from episode 16) format is ideal because it’s a simple structure that really anyone can create. QPL isn’t a “zine library” so much as it is a collection of creative responses to the simple structure.
The statement on the site reads: We wanted to make something to share as many of us are staying at home, disconnected from art, books, and one another. The project is not about COVID-19, but is explicitly of its time. With brisk attention, a lot of talking and correspondence, and the enthusiastic good will of generous artists who say yes, we offer this as a gift to share and circulate in a discombobulated time.
The QPL site is entirely free, offering the booklets to download and print. There is an instructional video showing how to assemble each booklet yourself. I think in these strange times, there is something comforting about making things by hand, especially a structure that is so quick and easy. It provides a small but much-needed sense of accomplishment. All donations to QPL go to EveryoneOn.org, a non-profit that connects low-income families to affordable internet service and computers.
Episode 17: Jap Herron and Mark Twain's Ghost
In 1917, a new novella was published by Mark Twain. The weird part? Twain died in 1910 and the book was purportedly written by his ghost.
Episode 16: Bookworms, Printer's Devils, and Type Lice, Oh My!
Follow the process of making a book while we cover specialized book terms, and some surprising idioms with bookish origins that we use in daily language.
Blue Skies for Austin Book Arts Center
Interview with Mary Baughman, co-founder of the Austin Book Arts Center about the history of book arts in Austin, and the vision of the ABAC