“Warning, objects in mirror are closer than they appear.”
West Hollywood; San Francisco; Bad Salzhausen; Springfield, Missouri), 2012 was a year in which
NHL resembled not a library but a book mobile. By late 2011, I was already spending a majority of
my time in the Bay Area as result of my partner’s new job there. However, life was to become even
more complicated than that. This past September, I accompanied my mother to a German spa,
where she was receiving medical treatment. Two weeks following our return, her prognosis worsened, and I shipped my books and office to the city in the Ozarks where my family resides, and where I will remain until the first of the year. [East Coast clients please note, ground-shipping times will be reduced by several days; Californians, my apologies . . .]
As you might imagine, family has been on my mind a lot lately, much more so than usual this time of year, when I am typically engrossed in assembling this catalogue. However, the two coalesce quite well. Henry Miller wrote in The Books in My Life (page 28) that it is neither the books man reads nor his experiences that matter the most. Rather, it is “what he puts into them of his own.” In order to get the full value from both reading and living, it is necessary to understand that the two exist symbiotically, each informing the other.
My mother came of age in the Jacqueline Kennedy years of the early 1960s, a time of elegance, when perfectionism was supposed to appear effortless. Reading books from that era allowed me to recognize that about her. However, it is a two-way street. Knowing her enabled me to better appreciate those books. As to my father, I had never met anyone in my life even half as unique, and then Nancy Mitford introduced me to her own father via her delightful novel, The Pursuit of Love (page 9). I credit Mitford for helping to realize how strange and dull it would be to have a conventional father. Of course, the books for which you feel a strong connection or a passion may not be mine. It is my hope, however, that you do find at least one or two within the pages of this catalogue.
To take this concept a step further, I thought it might be amusing to do a case study, involving how pleased it makes us when we connect with books. It is based upon an idea that my friend, the decorator Oliver Furth, conceived several years ago when he hosted a Los County Museum of Art dinner honoring Rose Tarlow. He arranged for a vintage book to be placed at each seat as a party favor. Oliver and I spent hours reviewing the guests and their various interests in order to select the perfect book for each. It was a huge success. They were delighted Oliver had taken the time to be so thoughtful. Moreover, it proved to be a marvelous icebreaker as they compared books. My case study on the next page imagines an A-List dinner party, but it could just as easily be applied to a weekend house party or a cruise on a yacht.
Download the 2012 Holiday Catalogue