Essence of a Book

by Pino Pino May. 22, 2020 104 views

Why do we still collect books?

Well, I do... and apparently so do many others.

Given the availability of digital texts, why do so many still love books?

For me, it is the Essence of a Book...

Material - Paperback/Hardback... Weight/Texture of the pages...

Type of binding...

The ink... the color... was it set via letterpress? traditional letterpress or modern?

Can you feel the indentation of the letterpress or is it perfectly elegantly smooth?

Size - Quarto... Sextodecimo... Folio...

It's Tactile - the pages, the printing, the binding... everything about it...

It's Three Dimensional - you can relate to the events within the story not only through the words but via their location within the block... how far through the block, how far up/down/left/right on the page - recto or verso...

The typeface...

The spacing/leading...

The simple decision of margins...

Illustrations - wood block, hand drawn, black and white or color...

How is the title first presented to you - gilded, embossed, debossed... Illustrated...

Dust Jacket - Is there one? How is it decorated?

The Weight - yes, the physical weight which is dependent upon the materials chosen so is related to all the choices above.. but also the weight of the story/words within - those books that stick with you - that you can still see the pages of and smell and feel when you experience that which reminds you of when you read them for the first time...

Is it unopened? Is it uncut? Two very different questions...

All these things and more chosen by author or publisher specifically for that book for a reason...

The book - the physical book - is so much more than just the container for the words... it is, particularly in older book but also in many newer books, the embodiment - literally and figuratively - of the story within.

That's my next photography project...

To discover... To Share... To open and explore my personal library...

Not specifically from a literary or historical perspective - well, a little... but only so much as those things relate to my true objective...

To photographically present what you (well, what I) might call the...

Essence of a Book

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Camellia Staab 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I must have a book in my hand if I want to read. Although, we have a kindle and my husband swears by it, I have never been able to read for enjoyment using any type of electronic device. For me a book has to primarily be hard cover, while on occasion I will pick up a soft cover book, for the most part hard cover is the prince of all. And I totally agree with your reasoning.Very nice post smile

1 month, 2 weeks ago Edited
Pino Pino Replied to Camellia Staab 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Thanks, Camellia! I love my library and just being around my books has a calming effect..   they are amazing works of art in and of themselves...

1 month, 2 weeks ago Edited
Antonio Gil 1 month, 2 weeks ago

So agree with you. Looking forward to see your collection. Love the picture

1 month, 2 weeks ago Edited
Pino Pino Replied to Antonio Gil 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Thanks, Antonio!

1 month, 2 weeks ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Super post. Love the feel of books.I do not like to read on a computer or phone. Same with photos, a book abouta photographer or from one is so much nicer. Always take a printed photo above a digital one.

1 month, 2 weeks ago Edited
Pino Pino Replied to Berckmans Peter 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Thanks!

1 month, 2 weeks ago Edited
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