The Book Club of Washington (BCW) ended 2013, a highly active year, with the annual Holiday Dinner and Silent Auction. Many books, gift certificates, and other desirable gifts were available, resulting in an appreciated contribution to the BCW. The annual event itself is always one of our most pleasurable membership evenings.
Early in 2014, the current website will be upgraded with enhancements that include a place to showcase book-related activities from libraries, museums, archives, and organizations throughout the region. Program plans for 2014 include a number of lectures, tours and bibliophilic activities. We will sponsor a lecture from a local professor on her new publication about the history of the book. There will be a scheduled viewing of the Saint John’s Bible, a handwritten and hand-illuminated Bible. Other events will include a workshop on managing book collections; a visit to a local fine press print shop; and a trip to visit libraries, book shops, and collections in Walla Walla, Washington. As plans are finalized, the details will be on the BCW website, www.bookclubofwashington.org.
The Book Club of Washington publishes a twice-yearly Journal of book-related essays. The contents of the current issue and back issues can be found on the website. The cover story of the Fall 2013 issue is the story behind a fine-printed invitation, created (but never mailed) in 1929. This invitation to local bibliophiles is the first known mention of what became the Book Club of Washington over fifty years later. Other articles are about a collector’s reminiscences of Edward Fitzgerald; “faux” books; the Corn Palace; the journey of discovery that started with a book of women printers; and a recent exhibition of the work of book artists in support of a tragedy in Iraq.
The first book in a new Chapbook Series continues in development. Publication is expected in mid-2014 with a previously unpublished essay by one of the most highly acknowledged Northwest authors of the early twentieth century.