My motivation for starting this press is grounded in my childhood love of reading and books. Without the worlds opened to me by books, I would be a different and much diminished person.
My mother read to me before I could talk, and when I was old enough to read myself, I recall a period of time when she treated me to weekly Saturday morning trips to the library. I would take out a large stack of books. When challenged by the librarian that perhaps I was taking too many, my mother would assure her that I would read them all and return them the next Saturday!
My parents grew up in working class families, and owning books was not part of their culture. Yet they bought me a beautiful set of My Book House books. Each of the 12 volumes was designed to match the age of the young reader.
They were beautifully illustrated, and as an adult I have dreamed about them. My favorite fairy tale was "East of the Sun, West of the Moon," about a girl who did not pass up opportunities for adventure. Her curiosity was rewarded by the unexpected, as when she couldn't resist opening a crack in a gate: the moon flew out!
"Well, mind and hold tight by my shaggy coat, and then there's nothing to fear," said the Bear, so she rode a long, long way.
Looking back I see the influence of the illustrations on my aesthetics sense. A dear friend came across a set and most thoughtfully gave it to me as a gift a few years ago.
We also had a children's encyclopedia, The Book of Knowledge, which contained very readable articles.
Those were days without computers, the internet, Public Television, or videos! Books were my way to enter worlds of the imagination and the world beyond that of my immediate sensory experience.
Yet I never had the fantasy of becoming an author, librarian, or book maker. When I went to college I thought I wanted to be an MD, but my interests gradually led me to study physiological psychology and neurobiology. That was a first "career" that ended after some years of doing research and teaching. It was challenging and at times fascinating, but it did not feel like my life's work.
The study of neurons did leave me with an awe of the beauty, complexity, and ingenuity of the natural world. I returned to school to become a psychotherapist, and I later became a Jungian analyst. I found my true calling and have loved my work for the past 35 years.
Along the way, in college and grad school, I lucked into jobs doing extensive editing and rewriting of books for college professors. I began to learn a little about publishing along the way. Writing and publishing my scientific papers and teaching in universities gave me more experience.
After I became an analyst, I spent about five years working on a book with the late Joseph L. Henderson, MD, about analysis in relation to the illuminated paintings in the Splendor Solis, a famous alchemical manuscript that belongs to the British Library. Working with Dr. Henderson allowed me to write as a process that was transformation for me. Our book was published by Routledge just in time for his 100th birthday party
I was also invited by John Beebe to work with him on The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal. He mentored me in a very generous way of editing, taking the work of some authors who needed help with shaping up their papers into publishable form and doing it with care and tact. After John stepped down as Founder and Editor, I edited the journal for 10 years.
Now, as I am past the age when most people retire, I am again called from within to be involved in publishing!
About My Love of Books
(FOR THOSE WHO LIKE TO KNOW THE BACKSTORY)