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    Adventures of a rare book dealer (and former small bookshop owner).

Don Freeman’s CORDUROY 40th Anniversary Edition

Written on April 16, 2008

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Cover CorduroyIn the bookstore this past weekend with my daughter, I came across the new reissue of Don Freeman’s classic picture book, CORDUROY. It includes eight pages of extra materials — unused sketches, background on the inspiration and history of the book, etc. But the coolest parts are the facsimile drafts and letters tucked into envelopes pasted in the back. The draft includes Freeman’s original text with his editor’s comments, all reproduced from the original manuscript. Beautifully tactile and immediate. Ditto the letters between the author and his editor. It’s a wonderful production, albeit one geared more for adult readers than their children. Nonetheless, I like the effort on two levels. First, it (re)establishes the links between the normally (at least for most general readers) separate worlds of rare and “regular” books. And second, it’s an example of the kind of creative productions can help keep the form of the traditional book vibrant, vital, and viable.

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