Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Genius of Philip Smith

The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot
I love reading on my iPad and Nook. They are both light, convenient and I can take numerous books with me almost anywhere.

However, nothing will ever compare, in my mind, with holding the bound pages of an author. There is something about the feel of a hard cover, the concise size of a mass market paperback, the slick cover of the trade paperback...

The smell - is it new and smell of paper and ink? Is it used and from a smoker's home? Do you wonder if the previous owner ate spaghetti and caused that faint orange stain on page 98? Has it been perused so many times at the book store that the new looks and feels used?
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The look of the page, quality of the paper...Is the paper yellowed from age with thick black (and probably smudged) print? Are the margins narrow and words tiny? Do you try to keep from cracking the binding of a new paperback, or do you go right into bending the pages back behind as you read them?
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
...and I love book bindings. I am sorry to admit that I do choose a book by its cover. Font matters to me. Busy-ness on a cover is a turn-off. Color and word placement catch my eye. I am talking primarily about softcover, of course. Today's hardcover books are plain with paper jackets. There is really no embellishment on the binding itself save for the title and author.

King Lear by William Shakespeare
Philip Smith takes book binding to a new level. Have a look at the books here and see if you can identify them. Can you imagine owning one of these beauties? Wow.

I guessed the Alice in Wonderland and Moby-Dick right away, but had to look up the others. Here is the link to the Philip Smith Book Art Galleries site. I can't believe the reader is rewarded with the actual book inside these gorgeous walls.

And I say again: WOW.

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