There is a couple who are our friends who own and run an independent bookstore. The bookstore specializes in about ten categories, including among other things: art, Judaica, local authors and information, and children’s literature. It is a fairly eclectic mix. Besides the books, the store is decorated with old tin wind-up toys, Day of the Dead figures, African masks, and other eclectic bric-a-brac. The store is about as normal as its owners. Not to be unkind, but the male owner is just a bit flighty. He knows his stock well. They have been in business as an independent bookstore for decades, despite the rise and fall of such behemoths as Borders and the rise of Amazon. So, the man must be doing something right. But Mr. Bookstore Owner is also an artist. He has had a band. He’s a very interesting character and creative, but not always the most focused.
Back in the early 2000’s when the Harry Potter books were coming out, the book release parties became a very big deal. Bookstores were contractually obligated not to release the books until a specific date and time. In the summer of 2003, the fifth book in the series was to come out, and starting a few months before the event Mr. Bookstore Owner was looking for ways to juice up their book release party. They had treats and refreshments planned, but they were looking for something more. We somehow came to an agreement to do a joint production of a limited run miniature sixteen-page booklet about the size of an eighth sheet of paper. I would create the text, imagery, and file, and his people would print, cut, staple, and number them (limited edition, remember?), as well as putting on a bit of extra decoration to make the booklets more interesting. All that we had at that point was the first four books in the Harry Potter series. In that fourth book, two other schools of wizardry were introduced: Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. It is mentioned that at Durmstrang, they not only teach Defense against the Dark Arts, but they actually teach their students the dark arts. I used that as inspiration for the little booklet, “Durmstrang Institute’s Manual of the Dark Arts.”More