After six years working here in the publishing department at Oak Knoll, the time has come for me to say goodbye. My last day as the Oak Knoll publishing director will be November 21. I am about to start a new adventure: parenthood! My husband and I will be adopting a baby soon, so I am taking a few years off from full-time publishing work to take on something that is totally different, but probably equally challenging. I’m also planning to stay busy doing some freelance editing as well as working part-time as a bookkeeper for my church.
I have learned so much in my time at Oak Knoll, about books and also about work in general, since this was my first job out of college. Thank you, all of you, for making it such a pleasant and valuable experience.
Bob Fleck, president and founder of Oak Knoll, will be taking over the publishing director responsibilities himself, so please contact him at email@example.com if you have any questions about the transition or about any future projects.
All the best,
Bailey and I had a great time representing Oak Knoll at the Ladies of Letterpress Conference last weekend. We learned a lot, admired beautiful examples of printing (and even bought a few!), met some nice people, and ate some great food. It was our first time in Asheville, and we loved the city. We will have to go back when we have more time!
Here are some of the pictures we took at the conference:
Thank you to the Ladies of Letterpress for putting on such a great event. We look forward to seeing you again in October for Oak Knoll Fest!
~ Laura Williams
Quite honestly, I had as enjoyable a time reading C. Edgar Grissom’s new descriptive bibliography of Ernest Hemingway as I did Umberto Eco’s The Prague Cemetery (2011). Both are hefty volumes—more than 500 pages—chockfull of semiotic intrigue and inferences lurking in the white space, waiting to be drawn out. (The plot in Ernest Hemingway: A Descriptive Bibliography moves a little faster, however). In both cases, the storyline pivots around the relationships between books. In Eco’s case, the intertextual referent is Dumas père’s Joseph Balsamo (1854). In Mr. Grissom’s case, it’s a source with which all serious Hemingway aficionados have more than a little familiarity: Audre Hanneman’s Ernest Hemingway: A Comprehensive Bibliography (1967).
For those of us interested in printing history, we can only say, “thank goodness.”
It seems that we aren’t the only ones excited about Joe Felcone’s new bibliography of books printed in New Jersey! Read the review of Printing in New Jersey on the blog of the Princeton University Library:
Greetings bibliophiles! I’m Bailey, your new Bookselling Assistant. I’m a born-and-raised Delawarean with a diploma from St. Mark’s High School and an English degree from the University of Delaware. In addition to working here at Oak Knoll, I also organize the Brandywine Festival of the Arts, an annual art and craft fair in Wilmington. My nonprofessional brainwaves are occupied by indie rock, dogs, comics, and crafting. Oh, and books.
My parents used to read to me every night before bed, so I guess I have them to thank (blame?) for my love of books. I love to get lost in a good work of fiction, thumb through an illustrated volume, or just admire an old tome. Imagine my delight when I discovered what incredible books are on the shelves here. Is it too cheesy to say that this place is like a treasure trove, full of incredible gems to discover? Well, if Gargoyles and Grotesques: Paganism in the Medieval Church isn’t a glittering diamond of a book, I don’t know what is.
James has very patiently taught me to take over his job as resident book wrangler, picture taker, and problem solver. I’m excited to help share these books with you, to polish my photography skills, and hopefully pick up a thing or two about publishing. Not to mention the wealth of information to be absorbed from the pages surrounding me – I’m particularly fascinated by illustration, printing, and the art of bookbinding.
In conclusion, here is a stop motion video of myself being attacked by books. Be safe out there.
James and I had the privilege of representing Oak Knoll at Historic New Castle’s Spirit of Christmas event on Saturday evening. We set up a table in the historic courthouse, displaying and selling copies of our new book on the history of Oak Knoll’s hometown: New Castle, Delaware: A Walk Through Time. It was a beautiful evening, with historic reenactments, candlelight tours of the historic buildings, and Christmas carolers. Tomorrow Danielle and I will be on hand at the signing of the new book, so stay tuned for pictures from that event as well.
These books are perennial Oak Knoll best-sellers: the ten titles we’ve published that have sold the most copies in the past ten years. Check them out, if you haven’t already—they’ve been well vetted and have withstood the test of time!
10. An Elegant Hand, The Golden Age of American Penmanship by William E. Henning. We published this book in 2002 and went back to the presses in 2006. As well as appealing to those who study calligraphy, this book has sold to a surprising market—homeschooling parents who want their kids to learn classical penmanship.
9. Historical Scripts from Classical Times to the Renaissance by Stan Knight. The Oak Knoll edition was first published in 1998 and reprinted in 2003 and 2009. Another great title on calligraphy, this is the only Oak Knoll title so far to be translated and published in Japan. Stan Knight is currently working on a companion volume on Historical Types.
8. Headbands, How to Work Them by Jane Greenfield and Jenny Hille. We published this in 1990 and have reprinted it five times since. This one is a surprise best-seller—who would’ve thought a book on such a specific topic (how to make a headband, that little strip of cotton or silk at the top and bottom of a spine) would be so popular! This book was recently translated and published in France.
7. ABC of Bookbinding by Jane Greenfield. Published in 1998 and reprinted in 2002 and 2007. Jane Greenfield is the only author to have two titles on the best-sellers list. She takes apart the structure of the book, defining and illustrating almost every conceivable part. A great reference book.
6. The History of the Library in Western Civilization Volume I by Konstantinos Sp. Staikos. The first volume of this epic series came out in 2004. Additional volumes showed up in 2005, 2007, and 2010, and part five is due to arrive the start of 2012. The series will be completed in 2013 with the publication of the index and bibliography. An excellent comprehensive history on the topic.
5. The Repair of Cloth Bindings by Arthur Johnson. Published in 2002 and reprinted in 2005, this long-lasting title is probably due for another reprint soon! A useful manual giving sound repair techniques for cloth bindings.
4. Letterpress Printing, A Manual for Modern Fine Press Printers by Paul Maravelas. First published in 2006, this one went right back to the press in 2007, and again in 2010. The comprehensive source book for beginning and intermediate letterpress printers.
3. The Typographic Desk Reference by Theodore Rosendorf. The newest title on the list, TDR was published in 2009, and quickly sold out! It’s currently on its third printing, and Theo Rosendorf is working on a new edition to be published in 2012 or 2013. Designed for quick consultation, it contains 1000 entries that are concise and factual, making it handy for the desk.
2. A New Introduction to Bibliography by Philip Gaskell. Oak Knoll issued its first printing of this classic manual in 1995, and we’ve reprinted it five times since then. An important reference work for students and practitioners of bibliography.
1. ABC for Book Collectors by John Carter (revised by Nicolas Barker). 1992 was a landmark year for Oak Knoll, as we acquired the rights to publish John Carter’s book collecting classic. We published the sixth edition in 1992, the seventh in 1995, and the eighth in 2004, with several printings of each edition in between. If you only have one book about books in your library, this should be the one!
All of these titles are still in print, and all are included in our 2011 Sale Catalogue, published last week. If your library is missing any of these titles, now is a great time to fill in the gaps, as all titles are 25-50% off!
Rob and I are packed up and ready to head up the road to the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts in Wilmington. We are attending and exhibiting our books at their book arts symposium “The Book: A Contemporary View.” We are excited to tour the exhibit and to hear talks from Buzz Spector, Mark Dimunation, and more book art experts.
A nice article about the event appeared in today’s News Journal. Click here to read it online.
- Laura Williams, Publishing Director
This past weekend, Rob and I were privileged to represent Oak Knoll at the antiquarian book fair in San Francisco. It was great to meet new people and to match faces with names of people I’ve corresponded with extensively, like Steven Abbott, author of our Gore Vidal bibliography. The book fair was a success, both in terms of sales and in terms of the experience that Rob and I gained and the contacts we made. I just got a small taste of the city of San Francisco, so I hope to be able to visit again sometime to explore it further!
- Laura Williams
Tomorrow morning, Rob Fleck and I will board a plane to San Francisco, to represent Oak Knoll Books and Oak Knoll Press at the 44th California International Book Fair. This will be my first trip, and Rob’s second, to the City by the Bay, so we are excited to explore the city! In addition to exhibiting at the fair, we will be visiting important book places such as the San Francisco Public Library, Serendipity Books, and the CODEX book fair. We hope you will stop by and visit us at booth 208!
Laura Williams, Publishing Director