Selecting books to take to a book fair is always difficult. No selection ever is the collection which ever reflects the wider range of books left on the shelves in our York Book Shop. This year the California book fair has adopted a theme which is focusing on the achievements of women. This is because, in the USA, 2020 marks the centenary of women, nationally throughout the USA, being given the right to vote. In August 1920 the right to vote was extended to all regardless of their sex.
With this in mind, I have looked through my stock to find the works of high achievers in the field of “The Arts” but here women often seem to be masked as makers, architects, artists, designers and photographers by their male counterparts, although in general today, they are in a more rosy position than ever before. To include outstanding items by women in the sector of design, for the California book fair has, I have to admit, been challenging. In my list of books for the fair are a few by unsung heroes. Go to the catalogue section of this website and take a look, The list opens with a short selection of affordable books on relatively unknown women architectural and design figures. This is an indictment of the role women have really played in design. However, perhaps it is better to be remembered ultimately because of skill rather than gender. For my own part this is certainly how I feel about the book trade, I would rather be known as a bookseller than a woman bookseller.