This afternoon, I was waiting for Tom and Huck to go outside and finish building a teepee out of some bamboo that my neighbor cut, and I decided that I could cover dustjackets in mylar protectors while I waited. I figured that I would have lots of time to blog while they built a teepee.
Unfortunately, while putting a mylar dustjacket cover/protector thingie on a marvelous, 40-year-old, shiny white dustjacket that belongs to a marvelous first edition of a well-known book which I found at an estate sale over the weekend, I incurred an on-the-job injury.
I know. You are wondering what type of injury could befall a relatively quiet antiquarian bookseller. After all, antiquarian bookselling is not always the way it’s portrayed in the movies, with forbidden manuscripts, secret agents, bombs, and car chases. Being an antiquarian bookseller is a relatively risk-free job, from an injury standpoint.
Let me tell you what happened:
I pulled the shiny white dustjacket off the book and laid it out flat on the table. I then fitted the dustjacket protector around the dustjacket, and made the appropriate marks on the dustjacket protector so I could trim it to size. I took the white dustjacket out of the protector and put it next to me.
I then picked up my handy little rotary cutter, something which is normally used for cutting a straight line in fabric, but can also be used to cut a straight line in a mylar dustjacket protector.
Somehow I did not cut a nice straight line in the dustjacket protector. Instead, I cut a nice, perfectly straight line down my right index finger. Like a tiny breach in a dam, the long, thin sliver of a cut yielded a giant flood of liquid. In this case, red liquid. Blood!
“D*!&%n!” I shouted.
Within earshot of the tender boyhood ears of Tom and Huck.
Ooops! Oh well; this was an emergency.
And not because I was bleeding. There was a marvelous, 40-year-old, shiny, white dustjacket lying on the table near me!
“Mom? Are you ok?” the boys yelled from the next room.
“I’m ok — One of you get over here, pick up this dustjacket and get it away from my hand right now!” I pleaded.
I’ll spare you the rest of the gory details. Though small, it was a deep cut, and so it bled for quite a while. I am now all bandaged up, but the band-aids on my right index finger make it too hard to type the post I had in mind. It hurts when I hit the keys. I hope to be back in full blogging force tomorrow.
For now, I am applying direct pressure.
I am happy to report that not one drop of blood spilled on the lovely white dustjacket. I consider it the mark of a true professional. 😉
Yes, I know. A true professional would not cut a mylar dustjacket protector with a sewing implement. Clearly, I still have lots more to learn when it comes to the duties of a bookseller.
See you in the stacks!