"You are only young once but you can stay immature indefinitely!" Ogden Nash [1902-1971]
My collection of movable and pop-up books gives me great pleasure. When I finally find a book that I have searched for so arduously, I'm excited and pleased.
To me, there is no such thing as ever completing my collection. I feel that if it were ever finished, I would cherish it less. There is always room for one more title, of course, especially nowadays when more and more sophisticated, complicated, and educational pop-up and movable books are being produced both for adults and children.
I began my collection about eight years ago. At first, as I browsed book shops, used bookstores, flea markets, etc., I bought whatever titles I came across that I didn't already own. As my collection grew, I began to research the history of pop-up books. I also became more selective in my "scouting" and began to keep a "want list." At about the same time, I became a member of the Movable Book Society. I would assiduously read the Society's newsletter, Movable Stationery, and quickly became aware of the "Herculean" tasks the paper engineers and illustrators faced in designing 3-dimensional books: complex tasks such as paper folding, glue points, cutting, etc., all with the aim of returning the book to a flat, immobile state.
At first my family and friends found it puzzling that I was collecting "kids pop-up books." But when they heard and saw some of my books, many of them very sophisticated and with very complex assemblages, they began to marvel and to ask: "how do paper engineers and their collaborators produce such super movable and pop-up books?" Thereafter, I began to receive pop-up books as gifts and pop-up greeting cards on special occasions, some even hand-made, because my family and friends just "happened to find these pop-ups" that they knew I would appreciate. I treasure them all!
Many of the books in the collection are from the Washington, D.C. area, where there are hundreds of used book stores. My understanding daughter, Lydia, a very busy wife and the mother of my three grandchildren, patiently drives me to my favorite haunts. I always return home with "great finds" to add to my collection.
Libraries are a great source of information for me and the Internet is becoming more and more informative with each passing day, with more new sites that are more sophisticated, complex, and serendipitous. The Fontaneda Society: the Book Collector's Club of South Florida, has been especially important to me. It has provided me with many new friends of like-minded interests with whom I can discuss book collecting and related matters.
As for the present, my only hope is that I find as much pleasure in presenting this part of my movable and pop-up collection as I found in acquiring it.
Geraldine Roberts Lebowitz