More than a sequel,Slightly Chipped: Footnotes in Bookloreis a companion piece forUsed and Rare.A delight for the general reader and book collector alike, it details the Goldstones' further explorations into the curious world of book collecting. InSlightly Chipped,they get hooked on the correspondence and couplings of Bloomsbury; they track down Bram Stoker's earliest notes forDracula;and they are introduced to hyper-moderns.Slightly Chippedis filled with all of the anecdotes and esoterica about the world of book collecting that charmed readers ofUsed and Rare.
The group consisted of Lytton Strachey, Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Clive Bell, Roger Fry, Duncan Grant, and John Maynard Keynes, although there is some dispute about others. The group had a unique ethos "which can be summed up by the sort of incisive comment the group and Lytton Strachey in particular were known for. Upon arriving at Clive and Vanessa Bell's apartment one evening, Lytton noticed a stain on Vanessa's dress, 'Semen?' he inquired." Another interesting story of the Bloomsbury folks is that Virginia Woolf and her husband, Leonard had often spoken of starting their own press. One day, while walking by a small printing supply company, they saw a hand press for sale in the window. They bought it, took it home, and taught themselves how to set type.
Thus began Hogarth Press. It reflected their ineptitude visually. Virginia routinely confused the h’s with the n’s. They had trouble with the ink, and the woodcuts they used for illustrations never inked up just right. These volumes are, of course, quite valuable today, especially because their print runs were so small (the first was 134 copies, which sold out, making them a small profit). One of the delights of the Goldstones’ books is learning about many authors of years ago with whom I was completely unfamiliar, for example, William Mcfee (nautical stuff) and Josephine Tey (British mystery writer who died in 1952).
No stranger to book signings, having traveled along to many of Sheila’s, not to mention many at ALA and ABA, I got a huge kick out of an anecdote they relate that happened to a friend of theirs. This author was sitting at the table in the bookstore with lots of his books but hadn’t been aproached by anyone for over an hour when a woman and child came over. “Are your the author of these books?” she asked. He assured her he was. “You wrote them,” she inquired again, “and you’ll be here for a while.” He answered again in the affirmative. She then asked if he would watch her child while she went shopping. The Goldstones don’t relate his response.
The book lacks the emotional tie that is established with the reader in their first book; however, it is well worth reading for the glimpse into facets of the book collecting world.
I really enjoyed this book. Well written and charming. Really makes you appreciate books not only for the stories the contain, but the actuall books history and collectibility.