Paper Table Novellas
The Back Story
A few years ago I participated in a fairly haphazard and poorly organised book fair. One of the invited publishers selected a small cul-de-sac in the shared space to set up their display, which consisted of a selection of their publications arranged in a tower formation, one on top of the other, on a single low table. The three people who represented this publishing business sat looking cold and remote on low stools surrounding the tower of books. They did not engage with the other vendors throughout the day. In effect, they created a completely inaccessible display, to which they added the impenetrable and toxic force field of their own personalities.
The book table that I was helping out at was decorated with a selection of paper models I had made, designed to catch people’s attention, make our table seem more welcoming, and hopefully generate a few sales as a result. Among the models there was a Gipsy caravan with a yellow and green paper awning, a small paper table with four narrow folded legs, and an elegant arched bridge with a curved paper stream running beneath it.
At a certain point in the day, a little girl approached us. She was about eight years old and she asked if she could buy the paper table from our display. She held out $15.00 to pay for it. Of course, I gladly gave her the table for free, and for some time afterwards I glimpsed her walking around the large room, the paper table carefully balanced on the palm of her hand, staring at it with an expression of utter delight.
- Bronwyn Lloyd