the bookness of books

My friend and creative collaborator Suzanne Fox and I try to take a few hours off on the last Friday of the month and we inevitably end up at one or another Barnes & Nobles. We walk in, grab a basket, and head in our separate directions with a plan to meet in the café in about an hour.

Usually our baskets are full way before the hour is up, so we’ll grab a coffee or a piece of quiche and pile our books on the table.

I tend to be quite promiscuous in my book-grabbing and -piling and -reading but during our last outing, I came across this exquisite gem and had eyes for no other.

500 books

500 Handmade Books: Inspiring Interpretations of a Timeless Form is part of the 500 Series from Lark Books.

Within the art community, there is an ongoing discussion about what constitutes a book: what is that elemental “bookness” that without it, makes an object something other than a book.

Here is what Steve Miller, one of the jurors, said about their selection criteria:

“…in order to quality, a piece had to demonstrate what we call ‘bookness,’ meaning that it had to operate like a book, opening up and presenting a sequence or potential sequence of images, words, or ideas.”

The books featured selected are from the best bookmakers currently working, including the teacher who introduced me to artist books: Sas Colby. Some of these books push the boundaries of tradition, some are solidly grounded within it. All are brilliantly conceived and exquisitely crafted.

One Trackback

  1. By ode to book-as-object – Shoebox Stories on December 1, 2010 at 11:43 am

    [...] the bookness of books [...]