A Virulent Outbreak of Authors

Every Friday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Atlantic, 1:00 p.m. Eastern, my colleagues from Yankee Publishing and I have a one hour call where we review the week just passed and the week ahead (I wrote about a part of this process 7 years ago).

After all the heavy lifting is done–the prioritizing, the ticket-assigning, and so on–Alan, who handles ecommerce, will often take the floor and try to stump me on Canadian trivia questions he’s diligently gathered over the week.

I’m happy to report that I turn out to be quite successfully Canadian, at least by my success rate at answering Alan’s questions; I knew last week, for example, what a “double double” was, and that a “chesterfield” is a sofa.

By way of rewarding Alan’s devotion to highlighting my Canadianess, I decided that I should seek out a book for him before heading down to Yankee next week, and so Oliver and I found ourselves headed toward the “local interest” section at The Bookmark this afternoon.

As we approached the section, we saw that our way was blocked. But it was blocked by friends: Brenda Whiteway was in rapt conversation with Jeff Bursey. I interrupted. And then bogarted the conversation right out of Jeff’s hands and had a nice chat with Brenda. At the midpoint of which we were joined by her husband, J. J. Steinfeld. From whom we learned about new developments on the Steinfeld publishing front.

J. J. was suddenly whisked off for promotional duties, and, as Brenda and I continued to chat, I noticed my friend Mark Leggott across the room.

I said hello.

Mark said “Oh, Peter, this is certainly a book that you should buy,” pointing at a copy of Gutenberg’s Fingerprint sitting on the counter, and motioning toward its author standing nearby.

J. J. returned, and whisked Brenda off in search of lunch, and so I introduced myself to Merilyn Simonds (the author), and we had a chat about her book, a book that, she told me, details the creation of another book, produced on a letterpress.

As you can imagine, we had a lot to talk about.

One of the things we talked about was this other book, the letterpress-printed one. She pulled out a copy of it for me to page through (it is beautiful). I asked her where she’d sourced the paper, and she replied that it had come from Papeterie Saint-Armand in Montréal.

Saint-Armand, of course, is a company I know well, and of which I am a big fan; I visited, with my parents, in 2010 and we got the cook’s tour from owner David Carruthers, and I’ve purchased their excellent paper many times.

As it happens, Brenda Whiteway and I renewed acquaintance in 2014 because of David Carruthers: her search for a printer led David to connect her to me, and we went on to collaborate in service of the Confederation Country Cabinet.

Needless to say, I left The Bookmark with a copy of Gutenberg’s Fingerprint in my hand (along with a copy of You Know You’re An Islander When… for Alan) and joy in my heart.