Letter from Tony


A few months ago, we believed the pandemic was waning, and that by September vaccinated persons would be able to gather safely again. Our Collectors’ Book Salons are nice things where unusual bibliophiles find friendship and explore one another’s passions, but sometimes our behavior does not warrant nice things. We were looking forward to resumption of our book-nerdy soirées but at this moment in August, I believe public health is more important than our intellectual fun. Our rare book room is too small for me to feel comfortable encouraging unmasked guests with food and drinks to gather.

To avoid conflict with holidays, we do not host Collectors Book Salons in November and December. Looking to the future, we hope we will be able to safely gather at the end of January. If we remove political nonsense from the health crisis, maybe we can have nice things next year.


The pandemic years have been hard for everyone in different ways and to different degrees. I am grateful that my family and our staff have remained uninfected by CoViD19 and that we now are all vaccinated. While emerging from the pandemic shut-down intact, I believe everyone has been stressed with worry and uncertainty. For Lila Weller’s safety, she stopped coming to work in our bookstore in March 2020 at the age of 104. The reduced physical and mental engagement of being sequestered at home affected her much. Nonetheless, she was alert and in good health until the final weeks of her life.

She passed away in her sleep on April 15th. She would say, “Tax day,” as she did for half a century as our financial manager. I have always felt her contributions to our bookstore were as important as Sam’s, but Lila was a quiet person and many regular customers did not meet her. I do not own a cellphone or use social media. During the pandemic, I participated, sort-of, in a few zoom meetings without becoming comfortable there. When my mom died, I really could not embrace the idea of complicating my stretched emotions with a virtual memorial.

This past spring, it seemed the world would be much safer by autumn, and I decided to postpone my mother’s memorial for half a year so it could be done in person. Although the pandemic is not over, I am now planning my mother’s memorial for the evening of Monday, October 25th, the date she would have turned 106. She will also be memorialized on September 18th at the Celebration of Life Monument on Library Square with others who donated bodies and organs to persons in need or to science. At her request, Lila’s body was donated to The University of Utah’s School of Medicine.