Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Perfect Weekend: We Hit the Books!

Friday 10:00 AM
Marty and Dee enter
Tattered Cover Book Store
LoDo, CO.

There's a welcoming feel there, like you're coming back to a lodge after a day on the slopes.
Cushy chairs scattered on both floors; couches decked with pillows in each room, oak tables and desks hidden in nooks, surrounded by mismatched wooden chairs. The hardwood floors are covered with colorful ethnic rugs.

One task that morning was to search for examples of cover designs depicting a western or cowboy theme. Looking for inspiration is half the fun of a great bookstore. We sifted through pages, noting fonts, dropped caps, title pages, different layouts for appendixes, and how comfortable a book felt in our hands.

It's the final step before finishing a Heritage Associates book. After dreaming up an idea; researching it for months; writing, re-writing, inserting and blending; then editing and rewriting it again; we start the process of photographing; illustrating; and collecting images.

Marta marries the text to the images, with incredible graphic arts skills; scanning, experimenting with fonts, designing chapter layouts, spacing the images and connecting them to the text. Captions are added, paper weight chosen. Pete prints the prototype for binding.

With the finished book in hand, a design for the cover, and leather for the binding are finalized. Hand-made marbleized end papers are chosen for the presentation copies. The book makes the exciting trip to the bindery, where it will become a real book at last. This is our art, and good bookstores hold inspiration for us. We filled notebooks with thoughts and motivating ideas.

"I like being around books. It makes me feel civilized.
The only way to do all the things you'd like to do is to read."
---Tom Clancy

"The great gift is the passion for reading.
It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites.
It gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind.
It is a moral illumination."
---Elizabeth Hardwick

We set up a station on the first floor, with a lovely table in the middle of things, close to the cafe for bagels and hot chocolate. Alternating, to reserve our spot, we explored, returning with piles of books from the children's section, the travel section, the photography section, the reference section, the map section.

It was heaven. We stayed all day. At 6:00 we walked next door to a great place, Dixon's,
and ate Prime Rib Sandwiches, Nutty Cheese Salad (with avocados and bananas...the best!)
and Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce for dessert.

"When I get a little money I buy books;
and if any is left, I buy food and clothes."

Bright and early the next morning we were back at our post. This time we set up on the 2nd floor, with all new shelves to peruse. History books, biographies, how-to-write books, poetry, architecture in Eastern Europe . . . we were drowning in knowledge.

"It's in books that most of us learn how splendidly worth while life is . . .
---Christopher Morley

We couldn't leave without a bag full of treasures; we collected our favorites and packed them in.
We paid the tuition for our weekend seminar, and took home the texts.

"Books are wonderful things: to sit alone in a room and laugh and cry,
because you are reading, and still be safe when you close the book;
and having finished it, discover you are changed, yet unchanged!"
---Fay Weldon

Back to reality after a weekend at our favorite resort--
The Tattered Cover!

"A book--a well-composed book--
is a magic carpet on which we are wafted to a world that we cannot enter
any other way."
---Caroline Gordon

If I could pick anywhere to spend a day it would be a beautiful old library or The Tattered Cover Book Store in LoDo, Denver, Colorado. I feel cozy, loved, inspired, creative, and pretty dang smart.

Where would you be??


Christie said...

That sounds like my kind of heaven, too.

Polly said...

I think I'd be right there with you. Did it have a little couch to curl up in?

Bev said...

If I'd known you were going to be there I would have come up just to meet you in person!!

Have to love a good bookstore, and Tattered Cover is one of the best

marta said...

you need to send this blog to the owners! you have made me want to BOOK a flight! hooray for awesome bookshops.