Tub Lit: Kickstarter project offers waterproof books


Shakespeare tub

The latest crowdsourced gem for the book crowd comes to us from Bibliobath.

Thanks to Wing Weng and Jasper Jansen, a Dutch-Chinese couple based in Amsterdam, we finally have the waterproof book!

They have 4 titles ready to go; a selection of short stories by Mark Twain, one of the selected poetry by W. B. Yeats, an edition of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and a special Kickstarter-only edition of the Chinese classic The Art of War.



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bibliobath Shakespeare

The campaign just launched and the goal is to raise about $10,000 in the next month. Among the rewards are a couple geared toward booksellers where you can buy multiple copies at a discount.

They got some of my money.


Campaign home page

Plant this Book


In 1968 Richard Brautigan published Please Plant This Book a collection of eight seed packets, each bearing an original poem related to its contents.

Now almost 50 years later the Argentine publisher Pequeño Editor has unveiled a book that you can actually plant!

The project is called Tree Book Tree and is designed to teach kids a little about the origin of paper books and sustainability. For its first release it took the popular children’s book “Mi papá estuvo en la selva” (My dad was in the jungle), by Gusti Llimpi and Anne Decis, which is a true story about the Ecuadorian jungle told from the point of view of a young boy, and transformed it into a “book that can be planted after it is read.”

Printed with recycled paper and biodegradable ink, and hand-sewn into a binding which has Jacaranda tree seeds embedded into the paper the book will eventually sprout into a tree when planted.

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Previously on Book Patrol:
The Book Planters of Do Myoung Kim
The Comic Book as Seedbed: Manga Farming by Koshi Kawach
Book Planters

A New Fine Press Edition of “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman

arion leaves of grass title page interior 1

“A holy book of the nation, along with the Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence,” – poet laureate Robert Hass on Leaves of Grass

To mark their one-hundredth publication the noted fine press publisher Arion Press has chosen the 1855 first edition of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.

 Chosen in part as a tribute to the publisher’s predecessors Edwin and Robert Grabhorn, whose masterpiece was their 1930 edition of the Whitman poem.

“I thought Arion Press might do something with Whitman’s poetry that was different as to the text and yet pay tribute to the 1930 edition by using a similar format, production methods, and materials, but with a new design,” Hoyem writes in the prospectus for this new edition.

arion leaves of grass title page bindingThe technical details of this jewel:

Leaves of Grass has been handset, for the poetry, in an 18-point Goudy typeface, Californian, initially designed as a private type for the University of California Press in 1936-38. Monotype composition-casting is used for the 14-point size of the introduction, preface, and other subsidiary material. The folio format is 13-7/8 by 10 inches. The paper is a special making of Langley from the Barcham Green Mill in England, with watermarks of the mill and of Arion Press, with its lyre pressmark. It was dampened before printing to soften the fibers and make the paper more receptive to the inked type. The paper had been ordered in 1985 and saved for a special project, and is now used, appropriately, for the press’s one-hundredth book. The presswork for the 156-page book was done on a 1915 Thomson Laureate platen press, 14 by 22 inches, considered the best machine ever made for hand-fed printing.

The edition is limited to 275 copies with Arabic numerals for sale and 15 copies with Roman numerals for complimentary distribution to participants in the project.

arion leaves of grass title page


Here is the 1930 Grabhorn Press edition:

Grabhorn leaves of grassimage via Bonhams

More at The Arion Press website: “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman