Table arrangements

Having returned from our travels we are setting about to make the Mill a proper home for Rabelais in its new incarnation. We’ve got desks set up, shelves are installed and being filled slowly.  The boxes from Middle Street remain sealed.  The integration will need our full attention and there are other parts of the working space that are calling to us at the moment. Moving a business is a tricky proposition.  We were gratified by the expressions of good will from so many of our customers in our last weeks at 86 Middle Street.

Don at his desk
Rabelais is will remain in hibernation for another month. Boxes need to be unpacked. Systems need to be set up. Everything needs to find its home. The kitchen is still a work in progress(!). That wall of books behind Don?  All reference.  He is thrilled to have it all out of boxes and in one place.

I have set up a mini photo studio to shoot books for catalogs and the website.  It feels luxurious to have a space dedicated to photography that doesn’t need to be broken down after use.  If we need some pictures I can simply take the books to the studio, shoot, download and we’re good to go.  Simple.

The backdrop is a beautiful pale blue Irish linen tablecloth that was a wedding gift, and that Raleigh chewed a hole in shortly after he first came to live with us. It is actually a perfect backdrop so I am glad the item has another life.  Was very sad to discover the hole by the new dog years ago. Shooting digitally on a tripod means that I can make a studio anywhere that the light is decent. The mill has big windows and we are on the second floor facing West Southwest, so the light changes in ways that make for creativity in my photography.  A good thing because honestly books are a little dull for photographing.  But I am seeing it as a challenge to make dynamic photos out of static subjects.

Rabelais is also gearing up for the biggest book fair of the year: The New York Antiquarian Book Fair at the Park Avenue Armory, April 12-15. Don is furiously cataloguing new material from our travels and plotting what should and what should not come with us.  This will be our first outing at the New York fair, which is widely considered the most important book fair of the year. We are excited to see the reaction to our books and to meet new customers. For our first showing we will be sharing a booth with another dealer, which was not our choice.  We are happy to be sharing with our friends at Schubertiade, music goes so well with food, but wish that we could have had our own booth all to ourselves.  Space will be at a premium, so our choices of what to bring must be made very carefully.  If you are in New York  April 12th through the 15th, please stop in and say hello. There are some gorgeous new books that we will be bringing to New York.  And who knows there might even be some cookies….


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