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A Bookstore Caturday

As our semester draws to a close, we have more time to continue processing the massive, multi-year donation of our friend and benefactor Jerry Buff, and as we do, we keep pulling out one small treasure after another. We’ll be sure to showcase some of these throughout the summer.

One of those small treasures is a thin, hand-bound printing of a short story by Jim Burns entitled The Five Senses, printed in 1999 by Graham Moss and Kathy Whalen at their Incline Press in Oldham, England, in an edition of 200 copies. The story concerns Malcolm, the slightly-hapless owner of a bookshop called “The Five Senses” (”He didn’t know why the shop was called that. The name had been there when he bought the business, and it didn’t seem important to change it.”). His bookstore cat, Hadrian, is a peripheral character in the story, but serves as a central and powerful metaphor of constancy and respect for the comfort of tradition. There are only three illustrations in the book, wood engravings by Geri Waddington, and they are all of Hadrian. It becomes clear in the story that it is Hadrian who understands intuitively what is right and proper: “Any human can tell you all about the five senses, but it takes a cat to know the sixth.”

The book was printed on acid-free Zerkall paper in Ehrhardt type, with the title page set appropriately in Hadriano. Our copy is signed by Graham Moss and Geri Waddington.

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