A Photographic Journey on Books...

by Pino Pino June. 10, 2020 795 views

How has a simple pile of paper, string and leather survived for so many years and in the face of so much technological assault directed at it?

This is part of my series of blogs to explain what exactly is the Essence of a Book by photographically exploring my personal library.

And I'm starting with my limited edition of The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night...

There is something about a book - a REAL book... that has permanence - that says to the reader that the author committed to their words and thoughts... and the act of producing that book, those thoughts, on a typewriter gives the author the ability to physically produce their thoughts and ideas - instantaneously and indelibly.

Here you just barely see the almost imperceptible indentation of letterpress.

Today we crave the telltale indent that says we are beholding a work of handmade skilled craftsmanship but back in the day it was typically considered by many to be bad form to press into the paper to the extent that we do today... the skill was in the ability to "press" only as much as was needed to apply the image perfectly – no more…no less - and pride was taken in getting it exactly perfect.

Now, don't get me wrong - I love the look and feel of letterpress today with the indentation being an integral part of the experience, but there is something to be said for the attention to detail that was the hallmark of letterpress.

Do you know why it is that we can pick up a book, a thick book, and turn to the page to reference a specific passage?

Studies have been done on retention of information, knowledge, via a book vs. via a digital screen. Turns out we tend to retain more - we tend to learn more - from a book... and we tend to forget more, tend to retain less, from a digital screen.

The studies seem to show that a book engages multiple senses - visual, tactile, and olfactory.

The olfactory can have to do with the materials - cotton or wood, leather or synthetic, etc...

The visual and tactile have to do with WHERE in the book we saw/learned/discovered something - how far from the front/back, where on the page, etc... the weight of the book in our hands - the balance of the book when opened to the section we are seeking... these are all queues that help us relate to the information in physical space – in three dimensions.

Or perhaps in four dimensions as all those physical, visual, and olfactory sensations may help us remember the last time we read that specific passage – place it in time… the 4th dimension…

In short, reading a book is an experience - and we humans remember experiences.

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Camellia Staab 3 weeks, 3 days ago

I love this post, both for the commentary as well as the BEAUTIFUL!! captures. Really, really nice and so glad you shared it with us smile

3 weeks, 3 days ago Edited
Pino Pino Replied to Camellia Staab 3 weeks, 3 days ago

Thanks, Camellia!

3 weeks, 3 days ago Edited
Sherry Hill 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Beautiful post.. not just the photos, but the body.. tis why I love books so much, I'm in love with the written word..

3 weeks, 4 days ago Edited
Pino Pino Replied to Sherry Hill 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Thank you! I can sit in my library and it is just peace... for me, holding a good book in your hands is like holding a steam train ticket to the world within and reading it is like boarding that train and traveling to that world...

3 weeks, 4 days ago Edited
Ann Fyfe 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Beautiful photos

3 weeks, 4 days ago Edited
Pino Pino Replied to Ann Fyfe 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Thanks, Ann!

3 weeks, 4 days ago Edited
Björn Roose 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Nice photos and "amen" to your story. Cutting open the book (like obviously had to be done with these) is by the way an extra experience.

3 weeks, 5 days ago Edited
Pino Pino Replied to Björn Roose 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Thanks, Bjorn! It is quite the experience to be int he room with so much history and know that unopened pages represent content that has not been seen since it was set by the person who printed it...

3 weeks, 4 days ago Edited
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