A Souvenir

A quick look at a book I brought from Neerkant, now already four weeks ago. Time flies.

SAM_7044It´s called Brik Schotte, I think (there´s no title given anywhere, and it was written by Rik Vanwalleghem (yes, he´s done it again) and published in 2011 (I think) in – well, where, actually? – by Uitgeverij (Editors) Kannibaal. Strange.

But then, when you open the book, you can see that it´s not really yet another bio on Schotte, but more like a private album of this most fascinating of all cycle racers.

SAM_7045This idea strikes you when you discover that the picture on the cover is detachable, again like in a photo album. Nice, and unusual.

SAM_7046What you get is memories by Brik´s sister, scans of his diaries, a scan of the cover of his well-worn French textbook, and a picture of the surface of the moon accompanied by a recipe for Briekbrod, Briek´s bread. Ah, not the moon, but bread. Right.

The book also gives a solution as to why Schotte used both Briek and Brik as his first name: If you have to sign so many picture cards, it makes a difference if there´s one letter less. In print it´s OK to have one more.

All of course written in Flemish, a language which I really like. What´s better than the word overwinningskes to show that a series of victories wasn´t really that important.

What I definitively do not like is this:

SAM_7050Or this:

SAM_7047Namely, large pics I would have liked to savour, printed across two pages of the standard small format softcover which does have stitced binding, but only as far as the layers go. The book itself looks quite fragile,

SAM_7048and I surely do not want to crack its spine. I hate that even more than not being able to look at the pics properly.

So who are those people who make books equipped with good ideas, wonderful archive material but lacking the binding to make it fully enjoyable? They´re the people behind Merckxissimo, the book on Merckx, after which there were several to follow. Guess why they call themselves Kannibaal.

They say that they love sports and books. Founded in 2009, the firm has a very healthy catalogue taking into account the low number of years. The catalogue comprises books on cyclesport, war, car racing, football and lifestyle, to name but a few. The website also reveals the whereabouts of the uitgeverij: It´s in Veurne.

The catalogue also reveals very moderate prices, our Briek book is but €9.95, which I think is a steal, especially as I guess that only a few hundred copies can have run off the press. The lack of a hard cover is now forgiven as one can easily buy two copies: One to read, and one to save. I paid seven Euros for the (perfect) used copy, which goes to show that I assumed it cost much more new.

SAM_7049After three book reviews more or less in a row, I guess it´s about time the new season rendered some cycling posts again. I have promised myself to do more rides on my old bikes – yeah, right, as I did last year, the year before, and the one before that. But, big BUT, I´m going to scour the pages of retrokoers punt nl in a moment. I´d love to go to Holten on May 22, for example, let´s see if they haven´t got more info on this ride now. Keep your fingers crossed it´ll work out.

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