Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Art of Books

As a book lover, bibliophile and veteran reader of 44 years, I have come to appreciate not just the wonderful worlds available inside the covers of a book, but also the design and look of books themselves, and of bookmarks and things made to look like books. I have a tissue-box holder that looks like a stack of books, and several boxes containing some of my pen collection that are also shaped like books stacked on top of one another, spines out. I once had an interior design catalog that had a coffee table shaped like a book and bedside tables shaped like books. I would love to have a headboard that doubled as a bookshelf with reading lights in it, and I've always longed for quilts, comforters and pajamas with a book motif (it would be even better if they had a book and butterflies design).

Since April is poetry and book appreciation month, I found these web sites to be wonderful stops on a journey into the beauty of books themselves, and the bookmarks that are fashioned to hold your place within them.
Mirage Bookmarks
Website about bookmarks. Features an exhibit of "outstanding bookmarks from 1850s up to now with over 150 images" (with topics such as Victorian, bookstores, religious, heroes, handmade, museum, and French advertising), history of bookmarks, bookmark quotes, and related material on interesting bookstores, libraries, and other topics. From a Swiss company that sells metal bookmarks.

An Archive of Book Cover Designs and Designers
View hundreds of recent book cover designs "for the purpose of appreciation." Browsable by designer, illustrator, photographer, author, and other categories (some categories are under development). Also includes a blog with "industry news, site updates, [and] assorted book cover-related miscellany," and links to related sites. From enthusiasts.

Companion to an exhibition that "includes a wide range of works from sculptures that reference books to books that reference movement and shape beyond the bound page," and typewriter poetry, "an important variant of visual poetry." Includes introductory essay, which considers "what is a book?", images of selected books sculptures, description of how to make a typewriter poem, and typewriter poem examples. From the University of Central Florida Art Gallery.

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