Several years ago, a man came to him with his autobiography and asked for it to be printed in hardback. Eighty copies to be given to friends and family.
“Certainly.” said the printer.
“How long will it take?” asked the author.
The printer ummed and ahhed. “Two weeks?”
“Any chance you can do it in a week?”
A couple of days later a sample of the book was ready and the man came into the printer’s to see and approve it.
“That’s great,” he told the printer.
“I’d like to do a laminated cover,” said the printer.
“How long will that take?”
“A couple of days extra.”
“I’ll pass then.”
“It’ll protect the book forever.”
“It’s fine as it is. When will it be ready?”
“Any chance for Friday?”
“I’ll see what I can do.”
On Thursday, the author phoned the printer.
“What time tomorrow? First thing?” he enquired, hopefully.
The printer smiled. “I’m afraid not. It will be late afternoon.”
“Any chance for first thing?”
The printer stayed up all night getting the book done. He delivered it to the man at 8.45am on the Friday. The author was delighted and took the book with tears in his eyes. He thanked the printer.
The man died at midday.
This was several years ago but telling me today, the printer cried at the memory. “I had no idea the man was dying,” he told me. “He was hanging on for his book.”
This reminded me just how precious memoirs are.