calendar
1686 •
Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe leaves his island after 28 years
1776 • The American Crisis by Thomas Paine appears, with its famous opening “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
1890 • Start of Sherlock Holmes “Adventure of Beryl Coronet

1732 • Benjamin Franklin begins publication of “Poor Richard’s Almanack” under the name Richard Saunders. containing weather predictions, humor, proverbs and epigrams, eventually selling nearly 10,000 copies per year.

Poor Richard, 1733
Courte
ous Reader,

I might in this place attempt to gain thy Favour, by declaring that I write Almanacks with no other View than that of the publick Good; but in this I should not be sincere; and Men are now a-days too wise to be deceiv’d by Pretences how specious soever. The plain Truth of the Matter is, I am excessive poor, and my Wife, good Woman, is, I tell her, excessive proud; she cannot bear, she says, to sit spinning in her Shift of Tow, while I do nothing but gaze at the Stars; and has threatned more than once to burn all my Books and Rattling-Traps (as she calls my Instruments) if I do not make some profitable Use of them for the good of my Family. The Printer has offer’d me some considerable share of the Profits, and I have thus begun to comply with my Dame’s desire. . . .

Friend and Servant
R. SAUNDERS.

lost n’ found • an update on the conservation of the 9thc psalter found in an Irish peat bog last summer. (via the Book Guide UK)

spoils • McMaster University Library in Hamilton, Ont., has obtained the diaries, correspondence and early material of Leslie McFarlane, author of 21 of the Hardy Boys books.

idiot alert • Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is being challenged by parents in Westport CT.

resurrectionists • WAPO gives us a piece on the New York Review Children’s Collection which is reprinting 8-10 out of print books each year.

naughty, naughty • Philobiblios has a little something to say about the son of a bitch a who bought a unique £47,000 67 volume Devonshire rector’s bible only to cut out the prints and now wants to resell the carcass.

groupies • did anyone else know there was a national council on bookstore tourism? and why didn’t they ask any of US to join?

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