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what the hell does incunabular illumination mean anyway?
Thanks for asking! I thought long and hard about the name for this blog, maybe too long and hard. Its a double entendre, but not a very clever one. Incunabula are books which were printed, rather than inscribed, prior to 1500. Incunabular is the adjective form of the word. Illumination is the art of illuminating books with decorated initials, borders and miniature illustrations. Examples of these are dotted around the blog.

So it means 'old book illustration' but it could also refer to a book that has been lit up. Illuminated, right! I'm shining the spotlight on books, you know, metaphorically... here on the blog... oh, never mind.

so what's this blog about?
I write about what interests me. That isn't restricted to the subjects on this blog, but this blog captures a nice chunk of items that all seemed to go together. incunabular illumination is mostly about reading books, and then discussing them. It is my hope that you will comment on what I've written about the books I've read, and tell me what you think about the book and/or what you think of my review. You don't need to be a follower of this blog to comment, and if you do, I'll most likely respond with a comment of my own. E parlo italiano un po'.

Other things you'll see here: bookmarks, science, libraries, architecture, old books and classics, and my long-winded writing. Did I mention that I like to write? You can see some scribblings here if you're interested. On the right hand column of the main page is a 'cloud' of the tags used for the various entries. The larger the tag in the cloud, the more often its used on the blog. Click in the cloud.

what's up with the bookmarks?
I know, who collects bookmarkers, right? Believe it or not, lots of folks do. Bookmarks are typically categorized as ephemera, that is; typically printed matter that was intended to be useful only in the short term, such as movie posters, ticket stubs, trade cards, etc. Bookmarks aren't just made of paper though, my collection includes wood, papyrus and metal markers as well. I wrote about the history of bookmarks here.

I visit lots of public libraries and I'm a big fan of what they do, and part of the way I celebrate that is by collecting bookmarks from libraries whenever I can, so those markers do make up a nice slice of my collection. I also visit library conventions, and as you can imagine there are quite a few vendors and other interested parties, happy to give away bookmarks to librarians and other convention goers.

I read a lot and I like to have bookmarks handy, it just kind of grew from there. I'm also a philatelist, and have quite collection of stamps, postcards, covers (envelopes) and other things, which are also ephemera. My office maintains a postcard collection of libraries, only a few of which are mine. You can see that here.

how do you decide what to read?
My tastes are wide and varied. I like a good story and I mostly read fiction. I read a lot of science fiction when I was younger, and I still do, but its not as big a segment as it was. One of the reasons I started this blog was to help keep track of what I've read, and what I'd like to read. I hear about books on the radio, or talking to folks, or browsing at the library. I used to write them down, and then lose them. Or I'd read a book, and then forget, and start reading it again a year later. This blog gives me a place to organize my thoughts, my notes, and keep track.

There are some other good bloggers out there writing about books too, and I get some things for my reading list after visiting them. Classics and other must read books seem like there always on the list. I didn't do a lot of heavy reading in school. In high school, I took a lot of art and industrial arts courses, and instead of becoming a carpenter, I went to engineering school for architecture. Math, art and science is what I spent my time doing, and reading was just a pastime.

You have something you think I'd like? Write it in a comment.

why provide so many links in your posts?
I guess I'm kind of a geek. I get geeked out on things and want to learn more about them, and I assume other folks want to learn more about them too. I may spend an hour or more on a blog entry, and sometimes more doing research. Because I like it. (I know, what are ya gonna do?). And its HyperText Markup Language I'm writing in here. Whats the point of writing in HTML without the H?

The beauty of it from your point of view: if you're interested, all the crap I dug up is there for the clicking.

Update: I get lots of folks coming to this site from image searches looking for book covers! (That's what it seems like, anyways.) When I post a book review I try to find a book cover image that's high quality, and looks like the edition book I'm reading. I don't always find that, so I scan in my own book cover. I think that when you click on any of the images on my blog, you should be able to see the details or you wouldn't have click. So if my images tickle your fancy, have at it, y'all.

what blogs do I read?
Yes, I read two pretty regularly, and I always have my eye out for more. books i done read is my favorite book review site. If It's Hip, It's Here is a fun blog about new and interesting design, art, etc. Its not on Blogger tho.

I sometimes read Simon Quicke's page; inside books. Quicke writes about books and bookmarks.

Got Medieval, was a great blog about all things medieval, with a focus on illuminated manuscripts, but it now seems defunct.

I've started another blog about woodworking and woodworking tools. Many of the posts are about the tools that I've made, restored or modified myself. Its called Moonlight & Snowfall. For info on my etsy shop of the same name, see below.

how come your 'complete profile' is so, ah... incomplete?
Maybe I'm using an old template or something. I tried to be complete, but there are a bunch of canned questions like: what kind of music do you listen to? I don't think anyone cares about that crap.

So here it is. Born in the sixties, north of Boston, which is where I've stayed. Public school. Wentworth Institute of Technology for architectural engineering, in the eighties, but the best thing I got at Wentworth was my wife. Two college-aged kids, who are great too, eventually came along with the package.

I design public buildings mostly--libraries, town halls, some police and fire stations--which is fun work. It puts science together with art and design. I read a lot and write a little, do a little woodwork and carving. I'll update this information now and then, when I discover what's missing, or what may be of interest. Don't see something? Ask. Put it in a comment and I'll find it.

You can also find me on Etsy, selling my own handmade wooden buttons and reconditioned or handmade tools. I began by making some buttons for my wife and daughter, so a knitting project and it took off from there. You need buttons or the hand tools to make them yourself? Here's where to find them: moonlight and snowfall.

do you have any published works?
Yes! But its pretty limited. I do a little writing, as I mentioned above, but occasionally I try to get something published. Anyway, here they are:
© Article, Sixteen Is Too Young, Shovel Magazine, November 1999, p.15*
© Article, Induction Systems: Faster, Better, Cheaper, High-Profile Monthly, March 2010, p. 12
© Feature Article, Is your Library Accessible?, Library By Design, Fall 2011, p. 9
© Cover Art, "Two Faces of GPS2," Molecular Cell, 13 April, 2012, Volume 46, Issue 1, cover
* apparently, dig doesn't maintain an archive that goes back to the heady days when Shovel, their monthly art magazine, was an insert, and they were called The Weekly Dig. (The Weekly Dig, Volume 1, Issue 7, Shovel insert #18)

what's the last word philo?
READ! And then keep reading. But that's not the last word, this is: read to your kids, and then keep reading to them!



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