Sunday, March 10, 2013

The End of an Era

The obituary of Richard Piraino in today's Inquirer  describes a life in books different from what we're used to. Mr. Piraino spent essentially his whole adult life at the bindery of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
He was not a conservator, but a "mender of books." His job was to fix damaged books so they could be used by library patrons.
If you've lived or studied in Philadelphia for any length of time, chances are you've used a book he repaired or rebound. They're unmistakable: heavy buckram, not very pretty, and certainly not up to current preservation standards. But they do serve the purpose of keeping books--and ideas--in circulation. 


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