13 June, 2005

Heard in my book restoration class

Michael Faraday was a self-educated man who had a speech impediment which seemed to lead to his physical abuse in the public school of his day. After being removed from the school by his mother, along with his older brother, he was apprenticed to a bookbinder beginning at the age of 12. It was while learning the craft over the next six or seven years in the bookbinder shop that he read and developed a keen interest in Science. He met people (satisfied customers of his and his boss' bookbinding services) who took him in and introduced him into the Scientific community, and the rest, as they say, is history. He had hard times with some colleagues, and there were controversial claims made against him as he gained notoriety in the community, but you can read more about that by doing an internet search.

I learned this from one of the newer members of my book restoration class, a personal friend of
Alexander McCall Smith, author of "The Number One Ladies' Detective Agency" and the Professor Dr. Von Igelfeld series.

What a small world, indeed, when I stepped into the bookbinding studio recently to find two older gentlemen joining us. Both have a lot of prior experience in bookbinding and restoration. One of them looked very familiar, I thought. When our teacher introduced us to each other, I asked, "Are you --------- whom A. M. Smith said in his lecture was going to be written into one of his next books, along with your wife?" To which he answered, smiling, "That'd be me!" He is also the man who introduced the author this past spring at a local author's lecture series that I attended with a friend.

I just finished the third book in the Professor Dr. Von Igelfeld series last week. It is so funny and even a little bizarre! I recommend it for quick, light reading. Maybe you can find it at your local library.

The three books in the series by Alexander McCall Smith are:

Portuguese Irregular Verbs
The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs
At The Villa of Reduced Circumstances

I'm going to take all my Smith books up to leave at my mom's when I go this week. That way she, my sister, and I can read them throughout the summer. I think they'll enjoy the #1 Ladies' Detective Agency series the most.

I'll post again from Oklahoma!

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