12 hours ago
01 June, 2009
Oh, funny you should ask!
Last year I was at Shavua HaSefer, Israel's yearly Book Week. During Shavua HaSefer, books are on sale all over the country, and at a few choice locations, entire book fairs featuring Israeli publishers are set up. We of course found ourselves walking around the fair in Jerusalem, going from stand to stand. The names of the publishers were clearly marked on signs above the stands, but come on, who really cares about the publisher? We mostly just kept our eyes on the books on the tables.
After a while, I got to a table at the far end of the fair. After looking at a few books, I realized that at this table, the name of the publisher actually was an interesting point, and so I looked up. "Oh!" I exclaimed after seeing the sign, and I began to explain my intrigue to the woman "manning" the stand.
It's pretty silly, really. The publisher was "Toby Press." I had heard that it existed, but never actually come across their books. I know, what's the big deal for it to be named Toby, but for someone named Toby, just trust me that it's a big deal. Toby is an awfully uncommon name - I grew up always being the one who couldn't find her name on any of those keychain racks, and rational or not, I get a kick out of seeing evidence that I'm not the only Toby on the planet.
So it was fun to see the books; the woman and I shared a good chuckle, and I didn't buy anything. I slid over to the next stand, looked for a second and a half, and audibly said, "No way!" But yes - I looked up at that sign, and it was true. I had reached the well-known Koren publishing house's stand. "So what?" I hear you cry. Well, the name Curwin didn't work out too well in Hebrew, being as Hebrew doesn't have the letter w. So a couple of weeks after we moved here, we "Hebraized" our name - we took out the w, and were left with Koren, which is an actual (and lovely) name in Hebrew.
Anyway, get it? The signs, put together, had my full name: Toby Koren! It was so silly, and of course Dave made me take a picture:
It's not a terribly flattering picture, so I've always been hesitant to post it here. But I realized that just the top part (without me) really couldn't be a better header for someone named Toby Koren who blogs about signs... so I put it up. Better late than never!
As a short postscript: check out this post by Maya, the writer of a great blog that I recently found. Really funny stuff, and totally true!
Posted by toby at 18:10