Sunday, April 26, 2020

Stay-at-home shelfie #30

Moving downward one shelf takes us to a spot with poorer lighting and, combined with some less-than-stellar photography, it's harder to read the spines of some of these titles.

This is primarily The Shelf of Books About Books — very meta. Volumes about book publishing, bookstores, book collecting, book collectors, book towns, things tucked inside books, etc. The first book, on the far left, is Evgeny Steiner's Stories for Little Comrades: Revolutionary Artists and the Making of Early Soviet Children's Books, which was a gift from Joan and Kaitlyn. Next to that might be the most meta book of all: Henry Petroski's (highly recommended) The Book on the Bookshelf is a history of bookshelves or, more to the point, a history of the centuries-long process of human civilization deciding how we preferred to store our book collections. Without that history, there are no shelfies today.

It's only natural for me to have an interest in others who have been book collectors throughout history. One of the biggest names in that regard was Sir Thomas Phillipps, 1st Baronet (1792-1872). A.N.L. Munby wrote a five-volume history of the Phillipps collection and where all those books (and manuscripts and ephemera) went after Phillipps died. The five volumes were also condensed into the one-volume Portrait of an Obsession, which was a 2012 Christmas gift from Joan.

My Kingdom of Books refers to the previously alluded to Hay-on-Wye, Wales, a tiny town with many, many bookstores. And Forgotten Bookmarks is one of the books that sprung from the wonderful blog of the same name. (And it goes without saying that many of the books pictured here have things tucked away inside.)

Moving to the second photo, there are numerous difficult or impossible spines to read, so here's a rundown on some of the volumes:

  • Preservation of Leather Bookbindings, by Ralph Wylie Frey
  • Is My Old Book Valuable? by Edward L. Sterne
  • Observations on the Mystery of Print, by Hendrik Willem Van Loon [2018 post]
  • First Editions of To-Day and How to Tell Them, by H.S. Boutell [2018 post]
  • The Amenities of Book-Collecting and Kindred Affections, by A. Edward Newton
  • A Primer of Book Collecting, by John T. Winterich and David A. Randall
  • The Typography of Advertisements, by F.J. Trezise
  • Lessons on the Use of Books and Libraries, by O.S. Rice [2018 post]
  • Books and Bidders, by A.S.W. Rosenbach
  • Commercial Engraving and Printing, by Charles W. Hackleman

Finally, there are several generously illustrated books about the history of postcards.

Phew. Maybe I'll go back to doing these long shelves as two separate posts...

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