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Re: [BKARTS] Sappho's Leap

Gavin Stairs wrote:

>I thought that it was the practice to have two scroll spindles,
>so that the text could be rolled up on one while being unrolled
>from the other.  I imagine that these reading spindles could be
>supplied separately from the text, as they were useful only
>during reading.  I see that you supply only the storage
>spindle, very conveniently arranged.  What is your intention
>regarding the reading of the text?

Good Question, Gavin. Gary Frost, the book arts haptics expert, can perhaps
provide more information about the historical handling of scrolls.

My intuitive take on this is that a library in the scroll era would have
"takeup" spindles as part of their furniture. Megillahs have only one
spindle. Many scrolls in other cultures have only one spindle. One spindle
takes up less room than two. A library would use half the space to store
books if they stored them on single spindles.  Just like film editing and
projection facilities have takeup reels.

The Torah has two because it is in process all year-- a certain passage is
read each week. So it is always "open."  Books that are read and put away
would need only one spindle to store them on.  By Megillah I mean books
like the Book of Esther, which is generally read only at Purim. The rest of
the year it is stored.  I saw hundreds of Esther megillahs at The Jewish
Theological Seminary that were on just one spindle.

These are scrolled horizontally. Greek scrolls were generally vertical, I
believe, from the examples I have seen.  The one I did for _Sappho's Leap_
was horizontal due to the formatting of the pages of the book.  I took two
copies of the book and hinged the pages together (tipped them with PVA).
Two copies, because the pages were printed recto & verso.

My intention for reading the text was that the reader would have a takeup
spindle.  That could be as simple as a mailing tube, or as elabnorate as a
custom made spindle to accompany the book. This was a commission, and I
discussed all this with the client.


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