When I graduated with an English Literature degree into a recession, I cast a wide net to find employment. By chance I stumbled into the world of rare books, and even though I knew nothing about that field, I felt instantly at home. An internship at an antiquarian book shop led to a position at Sotheby’s, first in London, then in Tokyo.
Years later I landed in the Bay Area, and began work in the auction world again. A chance suggestion from a book dealer friend – “if you love these old books you should really learn to repair them”- changed my direction. I spent ten years at the Capricornus School of Hand Bookbinding in Berkeley, and then took a position in the Preservation Unit at the San Francisco Public Library. I worked there for fourteen years, mainly on the special collections and the city and county archives.
I loved that work. I continued to study, and was fortunate to be trained in paper conservation treatments by our volunteer conservator, Emilie van der Hoorn. But I missed talking to people about their books. One of the best things about working for an auction house was discovering people’s passions. I loved hearing why they cared about one particular book, or how they had come to collect in a certain area.
I began to dream about setting up my own business, and by chance the opportunity to take over Bay Area Book Repair opened up. I am excited to be starting this new adventure, and I look forward to talking to you about the books you care about.