Cedar Toothpick smells like the chest of drawers in the back bedroom in the cabin by the creek, in Upstate New York, where I’ve spent most of the Christmases of my life. Smells like the top drawer’s evergreen interior. I almost expect to find a dead moth inside Cedar when I crack it open, or else evidence of bewhiskered rummaging. This is, please believe me, a very good thing!
Cedar is, in other words, what it was meant to be. I thank you, dear backers, for springtime support and, more recently, for patience, as October became November and November nearly became December.
The first edition of Cedar Toothpick has been printed:
Rucksack hardback; 96 pages; 500 copies (up from 400, though it was important to us that the edition remain essentially thimble-sized); offset-printed on Munken Print Cream (thank you, Arctic, for having milled this fine book paper). Internally, you’ll find good thread (my single favorite material on this planet) looping round the book’s bones. Externally: foxes foxing—across spine, across centuries.
A book does not, of course, build itself. I’d therefore like to dedicate an entire paragraph of thanks to the men and women at Drukarnia Skleniarz, with whom we’ve worked this month. The printers and binders were grizzled pros: smart, patient, precise, and, early in the morning, endearingly dyspeptic (think of Melville’s pre-noon Nippers). Felt good to have Cedar in the best and most experienced of all possible hands.
Felt especially good to be in the printing house ourselves, as Cedar became a physical book over the course of these past weeks. In my head, the whole time, I could hear the dear vigorous ghost of Maurice Sendak chanting: “A book is a book is a book.”
And so, dear backer, your signed and numbered copy of this particular book will be in the mail later this week.