Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Double Delight

I am addicted to reading.  I always have at least two books on the go.  One is usually non-fiction and the other fiction but I read (happily) from most genres.  And cannot imagine going a day without reading.  I once worked with a woman who had a stroke and lost, permanently, her ability to read and write.  And still consider it an almost impossible disability.

However, I am also addicted to books.  Old books or new.  I love their texture, their weight, their smell.  Which is probably at least part of the reason I am not happy with e-books.  I will read them when I have no choice, but...

Essentially I am an unashamed bookaholic.  And here in the blogosphere both sides of my addiction are more than catered for.

There are many talented writers, and I receive (and welcome) recommendations about their books, and other books that people have enjoyed.

In addition there is a talented group who MAKE books.  Which often starts with making the paper which is used.  I am in complete awe at their imagination, drive and technical skill.  Collage, printing, photography, embossing, origami, and the list goes on...

A little while ago this blog alerted me to an exhibition of hand-made books to be held in Canberra.  You can read a little more about it here. 

Today was the day.  Oh how I loved it.  And the expertise on display.  My role as an appreciator got a big, big work-out today, and I am still smiling.

So much talent.  And I was lucky enough to be there.

I took photos, but sadly they do not show any of the books to their best advantage.  The display cases were made of reflective glass, and the light wasn't the best.

Just the same, here are some of the ones I fell in love with.



















Wow, wow and wow.

And the double delight?  I met up with one of the people who organised the exhibition, a talented blogger who I have followed since I first landed here.  I feel so very guilty that my photo of her book (another I loved which made my eyes leak) was too blurred to share.

And to indulge another of my obsessions I am also adding a photo of a the flower on a tree just outside the library.  I suspect it is a member of the bottle brush family - but it is very, very pretty.




112 comments:

  1. I love books, too - I always have. I do have an e-reader, but use it sporadically. (Such as for reading John Steinbeck's East of Eden - a lengthy book - so it's easier for me to carry around the e-reader than the book. And what a happy thing - it's constantly checked out at the library.)

    What a lovely exhibition! I think your photos did it justice. What creativity! A perfect outing, seems like.

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    1. Lynn: It was a WONDERFUL outing. I loved it.

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  2. I am very, very impressed with the exhibition. Such imagination and talent!
    But my favourite picture here is the yellow flower at the end. It's gorgeous.

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    1. River: I am in serious awe at the imagination and talent. Mimsie identified the yellow flower on her blog of yesterday. Serendipity at its best.

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  3. EC ~ I am so jealous LOL ~ that is an exhibition I would have loved to see too. Thank you so much for sharing the images ~ they are absolutely gorgeous ~ and how special to have a blogger meet-up

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    1. Carol in Cairns: It was wonderful, amazing, incredible. And I love that blogger - and admire her talent.

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  4. How wonderful. I would say "wow" but it's been done already. Thanks for sharing so many original book and paper adventures. And yes, the flower is a perfect bookend. :-)

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    1. DJan: Wow and all the other superlatives. Love it. And might go back yet.

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  5. That was certainly some exhibition and I am so pleased you were there to see it and thank you for sharing some fabulous photographs.
    Like you, I prefer the 'feel' of books, even the very old ones although I am having difficulty holding large books when reading in bed at night but hate the idea of holding a piece of plastic. Needs must one day perhaps though. My hands just don't cope any more.
    I doubt that beautiful flower is a bottlebrush as I don't think they come in yellow and the leaves look wrong but please don't quote me. Would love to know what it is if you ever find out.

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    1. That's strange. I thought I'd added a comment directing you to my "I" flowers post where there is a yellow Isopogon that looks just like your yellow flower. What do you think?

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    2. Mimsie: I can only read paperbacks in bed - having hit myself in the face more than once with heavier hard-backs. And I saw your post this morning - and recognised the isopogon. Thank you. Lots.

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    3. For me they have to be small paperbacks. I'm ready a Sue Grafton now and it's one one of those large paperbacks and it's giving me no end of problems.

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  6. Those books are charming! Looks like a really, really fun exhibition. Nice to see the Paper Chipmunk aka Ellen's work displayed. What talent!

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    1. Thanks Cranky! So kind. Someday when I finally manage to finish them all and they've gone to all of their exchange recipients, I'll post photos of the inside pages of both Superstition and Poison (which is about how some people are poison).

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    2. Ms. CrankyPants: It was simply wonderful. I have some of the Paper Chipmunk's work - and it falls firmly into the 'things to rescue if there is a fire' category. They are very, very precious to me.

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    3. Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen): I will hold you to that. The page I saw of Superstition was incredible - and Ms Duck told me that it was all that good.

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    4. Oh, I'd love to see the pages too, Ellen!

      EC, if I had any of those books, they'd be in the save-in-case-of-fire pile too. With the cats. Okay, and my husband. :)

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    5. Ms. CrankyPants: Snap - but I think I would encourage the smaller portion to save himself - which would mean I could save more.

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    6. Aww… you two are too kind. (Blush.)

      Btw, Superstition has a black cat in it (of course). It's a portrait of Larry.

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    7. PS Very important to encourage one's partner to save himself so you can get busy saving more possessions. Good thinking--they always say, plan ahead for how you'd deal with an emergency! :-)

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  7. You nicely told how a book is more than a good story. I also enjoy the real thing over an e-book.

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    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: A book isn't more than the story within for some people - poor deluded and deprived souls...

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  8. How much fun is that? Geez, you should have called me EC - I could have joined you!!!!!!

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    1. Cathy Oliffe-Webster: It was immense fun - and I would have invited lots and lots of people if I thought they could get there.

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  9. OMG, EC ... I am stunned and awed. I don't know how you were able to absorb so much beauty in one day. I too wish you could have pictures of every one of them. These people are at the pinnacle of talent. Both writers and artists ... such imaginative presentations of their work. This is a beautiful post.

    I too love reading though I am not as consumed as you. My idea of relaxation is a good book and a cup of tea. That said, all of your reading shows in your wonderful intellect and appreciation for so many genres of life. I learn from you and there is no greater gift. Thank you EC ...

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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    1. Andrea: I forwarded your comment to the makers of books that I know personally. You perfectly summed up my awe at their work.
      And yes, reading is an obsession with me. And books too.

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  10. Dear EC, the creativity and vision and tongue-in-cheekness and glee of these books just delights me. A friend of mine is a poet and she is a member of a group of well-known poets in Minneapolis, MN. They are publishing their poems as "chap books" and the paper and type is so lovely and inviting. But what you have shown us here is true innovation. The typewriter keys one just beckons me. Peace.

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    1. Dee: I lusted after rather a lot of these books. Fun, quirky, clever, beautiful....

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  11. I'm usually a horror sci-fi fictional reader or a self-help type of reader. It's nice that there are still people literally "flipping pages" rather than e-booking it online or reading it through their iPads. I tried. Nothing beats real pages.

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    1. Deb: Self-help books are a genre I don't spend much time in. Not certain why - there is a lot to be helped.
      But no, nothing beats real pages.

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  12. I wish I could have been there with you!!

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  13. Greetings human, Sue,

    What an experience for you. It must be a bit surreal meeting another blogger in 3D reality. I like real books. Although, I'm not sure my human, Gary, appreciates me chewing on them. Oh wait, no problem, it was a Reader's Digest.

    And a triple delight. Yes, a comment from Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)

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    1. klahanie: Dear Penny - how right you are. This post became a triple treat when you landed. Thank you.

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  14. Fascinating process and talents. I too like books,, but I've caved in to ebooks and read more of them than the real the bound copies.

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    1. Myrna R.: I have an e-reader on the PC, because some books I cannot get any other way. But I think it is second (or third) best.

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  15. You got us coming and going..paper and flowers.
    I have a paper artist friend, Pat, who blogs sometimes. viewfromtheattic.blogspot.com. She's away vising her son on the west coast right now. You might enjoy a cruise through her blog to see making books from the bookmakers mouth.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: Thank you. I will definitely go and check out your friend's work. Education and awe.

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  16. HI EC This is a very impressive exhibition. I can tell you enjoyed it.

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    1. Margaret Adamson: No, I didn't like it - I loved it.

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  17. Oh, thank you for posting these. Of course, some I recognise, as I have them in my own collection, but it's good to see some of the other BAO works.
    Yes, there are many very talented people in the field.
    It begins, I think, with "an unhinged mind." That is, a mind not constrained by convention.A mind able to envisage something from an angle others might not have considered.
    For example, that one called "Dust." Go back and have a good look...that, people, is one of those vacuum cleaner dust bags, repurposed to be the cover of a book about dust.
    EC, you have given us a treat, indeed.Thank you.

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    1. dinahmow: As a person who certainly has an unhinged mind I can assure you that while it might be the starting point a whole lot more is needed.
      And thank you for reminding me about 'Dust'. Ms Duck pointed out what the cover was made of, and I meant to share the wonder.

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  18. In echo of Di, thanks so much for posting these! It boggles my mind on a regular basis what the internet has brought to me, a person who is increasingly confined to home in an isolated rural corner of California. I'm sure we "met" via Ampersand Duck--the organizer of the show--whose blog was also one of the first I followed. And then my internet connections brought me to Book Art Object and the amazing book artists there (including the wonderful Dinahmow above). What a joy and privilege to be included in this fine group! Although I do feel guilty. The only copies of my books I've managed to finish completely so far are the ones that are sitting there in Canberra! Alas. Still working on the others in the editions. (Life, roof repairs, medical matters... and all those other things I'd much rather not have to deal with...Damn.) But it is truly wonderful to see my books sitting there in such good company in Canberra. Thanks again!

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    1. Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen): You are right - I did find you and Dinahmow through Ms Duck. Another reason to love her.
      I am so grateful for all the wonders that the blogosphere has given me.

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  19. I love reading. It tops my list of any hobby. I fear losing my eyesight because I would not be able to read.

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    1. Birdie: Me too. I cannot contemplate life without books.

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  20. Hey, your photos look great! I have to admit that I've been trying to make the most of my photos to post on BAO because it's just such a hard venue to capture -- all that space and reflective glass.
    It was so lovely to catch up with you again, and it's always extra-good to experience such enthusiasm in person -- most people say they enjoy something but you rarely get to see them do it!
    As always, it's a bummer to have to display books like this behind glass. I'll keep my promise of bringing them to your house next year so you can fondle them!

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    1. Ampersand Duck: I still feel really, really bad that my photo of your book was such a failure. I think because my eyes were leaking after reading that page. It was brilliant to see you again.
      I will hold you to that promise about letting me fondle next years crop.

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  21. As far as I'm concerned, hell could freeze over before I purchase an e-reader - or the like. Nothing quite like holding a 'real' book in your hands and admiring a 'real' book on your shelf. I simply can't get enough of them. It appears we share a similar fetish :)

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    1. Wendy: And there are many worse fetishes about. Many, many worse.

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  22. I love books, too. And I have done so since I was a little child. Amongst our gifts at Christmas and birthday were always three or four books. I loved the smell of my new books. I will never succumb to a Kindle or the like...I would feel like a traitor!

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    1. Lee: You are very, very far from alone. In the comments I have read so far there are quite a few of us. Love, love, love my books - and they were and are the best presents.

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  23. what a reading list to my right>>>over there>>>how many of them are english and austrailian authors.,.,.i thought i was well read, but apparantly NOT

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    1. So demanding.
      But worth it.
      *laughs.

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    2. Putz: Welcome. I wasn't ignoring you - I have been out all day (volunteering). Sadly, English is my only language so most, but not all, of these books were first published in that language. English authors, Australian, American - anything which strikes my eclectic fancy. And I would class myself as a greedy reader rather than well read.

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    3. All Consuming: Some of my most favourite people are demanding.

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  24. Gorgeous. On my fine art foundation course we did something similar, all produced hand made books, nothing - as previously stated- gorgeous as these mind. So enjoyed making them though. Love the woodcut printed cover with the fox on too. I majored in Fine Prints, so know the work that goes into these things. Lovely stuff, I envy your attendance.

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    1. All Consuming: They were just amazing. I hoped you would drop by, because I know of your passion for books - and reading.

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  25. OMG - what a delight! I am also a bookaholic (I am the only one in the family who doesn't own a kindle or nook), I still prefer the feel and scent of a book. I cannot imagine a day without reading - and compared to "days gone by" I read way less than I used to do. Those handmade books you show here are truly works of art and so rich of creativity and fantastic ideas.

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    1. Carola Bartz: I am still smiling. And still in awe. So many of these books just boggled my mind.

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  26. Isn't it amazing that libraries are becoming the last stronghold of physical books? So many of the bookstores are closing. I'm on our local library board and we mend our books. It's boggling how people abuse them. I wish I could have gone to this exhibit with you.

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    1. lutheranladiescircle: Amazing - and sad. And my home also is a stronghold for them.
      Re abuse: a librarian I knew told of finding a fried egg which had been used as a bookmark. Eeeuw doesn't begin to cover it.

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  27. You are a writer's best friend :). I've enjoyed your review for my debut story, I always appreciate a good criticism

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    1. petronela: Writer's are this reader's best friends. Aren't I lucky to have so many of them.

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  28. Beautiful display the books! thanks EC.

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    1. Ercotravels: They were very, very, very beautiful. And clever.

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  29. What fun and I loved reading your post about this marvelous event. It never ceases to amaze me the talent these people have, the imagination alone leaves me in awe. Thank you for sharing your day with us. Your enthusiasm is heartwarming and a great start to my day.

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    1. DeniseinVA: It was a truly wonderful exhibition. I hope (hint, hint) it becomes an annual delight.

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  30. My mom lost her ability to read just about the time she retired - and it broke her heart, as she read constantly before that... the hand crafted books are absolutely beautiful pieces of art work!

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    1. daisyfae: My heart goes out to your mama. That would be torture.

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  31. What lovely art work those books are.

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  32. I like seeing those book displays...good that you like to read also. I always enjoy the flower pics too

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    1. Kim @ Stuff could...: I am so lucky that my obsessions are shared/humoured by so many people here in the blogosphere.

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  33. Oh, how wonderful! You must have had a fabulous time!

    Even though you prefer "real" books over e-books, (as do I) a friend told me about a fantastic way to get great e-books for reduced prices... and for FREE! (Who doesn't like FREE?) It's a site called bookbub. Ever since I joined, I've been getting a daily email from them with all kinds of book offers. You get to indicate your favorite genres... and can order them for Kindle, Nook, or whatever. Really neat.

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    1. Susan: I did have a fabulous time. And am still smiling. I will keep booktub in the back of my mind, but probably won't join up. I hope others who may be more comfortable with e-books see your recommendation though.

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  34. Lovely works of art! The pop-up books always amaze me.

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  35. This post is right up my street. I love books. Those photos are so beautiful. You're so lucky to have attended this exhibit.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. A Cuban in London: I do know just how lucky I was. All thanks to the blogosphere because I haven't seen any advertisements for the exhibition.

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  36. I share your addiction. But I'm not seeking help for it...I love my books! I came to value my Nook when we were snowed-in one winter. I couldn't get out to the library or bookstore. But I remembered the Nook and downloaded about 10 lovely Christmas stories. Now when I'm too impatient to wait to get a book, I just download it! However, hand-made books like those in your photos are so much nicer!

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    1. Debora: There are many worse addictions aren't there?

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  37. I'm the same way! Silly to say, as I have an ebook out, but I just haven't configured the print version yet. The kind of paper in a book is so important to me, I'm kind of a dork that way.

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    1. Riot Kitty: The kind of paper, the print... AND what is inside it.

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  38. You are such a dedicated reader of books, EC. I read every day - I would be lost without reading - but not many books the past few years, mostly blogs on divergent topics ... I find the brevity of the entries is good for the small bits of time I have between the "must do's" of my day. I don't seem able to concentrate on books as well now - I wonder it that's the cause of - or the result of - reading in small bursts. Eek - I think I should get back to books and try to improve my concentration ...

    That book art show looks really interesting.

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    1. jenny_o: I read both, blogs and books. And the housework suffers. And I don't care. Much. The exhibition was a joy.

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  39. I have about five books going at once. There was a time I could not have imagined more than one book holding my attention at a time.

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    1. lotta joy: Different books for different times, different moods. Though my partner doesn't see why (or how) I do it.

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  40. Like you I am a reading addict, and books, well they are just everywhere in my house.
    Sadly, I find reading them difficult now and until I have better eyesight again, (I hope), I have to stay with ebooks.

    They are easy to read for me, and I therefore read one in two or three days, regularly. Not all of them are great literature, but there’s got to be the odd bit of escapism in life too.

    The books in the exhibition are beautiful, more objects of desire than useful; not like a paperback which can be treated cavalierly.

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    1. Friko: I hope your eyesight can be improved. I certainly don't limit my reading to literature. There is definitely a place for escapism - and agreeable trash too.
      And I did lust after the books in the exhibition.

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  41. I'm not into *reading* ebooks either - never have been and never will, I'm sure.

    Sounds like that was a very interesting exhibition - and I'm sure I've never really thought much into how books are made, so thanks for sharing.

    PS. I answered your question about the 50 States of Pray. (All are welcome, as is noted in the post :)

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    1. Mark Koopmans: Thank you. Books are a joy and a delight - and books as objects of art blow me away.
      I will think about your 50 States of Pray - though if I play my contribution will not be a prayer.

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  42. Wow, I would have loved to have gone to that exhibition! I need the real paperback/hardback copy of a book. I've even borrowed a copy e-readers so that I was being fair in my opinion. It's two completely different worlds having Moby Dick, Huckleberry Finn or Call of the Wild (to name a tiny few) in their original intention by the author vs a digital display. I enjoyed your post! :)

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    1. Mike: Welcome and thank you. It was an amazing exhibition. And I am pleased to hear of someone else who is not an e-book convert.

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  43. I adore books, too.....I decorate my house with them:)
    Really, isn't a beautiful book just about the most engaging bit of art!
    I love not only reading them but the wonder of their covers.
    Your bookmaking excursion looks like a delight for the soul and eyes.
    I love it when people still take the time to do it slow.
    -jennifer

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    1. Jennifer Richardson: Our house is filled with books. I grew up in a book filled haven - and continued the tradtion. Not only the covers, but the paper, the print, the smell, the weight. The content is a bonus.

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  44. & I say the same:

    WOW! Wow! WOW!

    Xxxxxxx

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  45. How lucky are you!!! I can get a sense of the paper/parchment and the scent of the binding just by looking. Books, for me, hold such wisdom beauty and sadness. I can remember weeping over Charlotte's Web when I was a wee child.

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    1. Christine: There are some books I still weep over - sometimes pages before the triggering event. And the exhibition was simply stunning. Designed for book nerds like me.

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  46. Argh, I missed another post. And what a wonderful one it is!

    I love books - real books. And these are such amazing examples!
    Thank you for showing us a few of what looks like an incredible array of stunning works of art.

    For me, there's something incredibly comforting in opening - and smelling - the pages of an old, well-loved novel or reference manual.

    May the tactile joy of reading and "smelling" real books never be lost.

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    1. Vicki: I am agreeing with you - about 1000 per cent. Conservatively speaking.

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  47. Oh my gosh. I am so jealous of you!! Those books look just incredible. I was lucky to see a similar exhibit once, they made us put on gloves so we could handle the books. It's a wonderfully magical experience, and seeing your photos is making me long to go to another show!!!!

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    1. Raquel Somatra: I would go to shows like this any time and every time I hear about them. Pure magic. And I am envious that you were allowed to handle to books - though Ms Duck has promised me that next year I will be able to...

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  48. Hand-made books - how special.

    You're amazing with two books on the go all the time! I enjoy your reviews though, I like what you lean toward to read.

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    1. wordsfallfrommyeyes: It was incredibly special. More talent for me to admire - which I did and do.
      My reading is greedy - but I am glad you enjoy my reviews.

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  49. I too really enjoy your iris and foxglove...love your banner.

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    1. Charlie@Seattle Trekker: Welcome and thank you.

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  50. A visit to your site is always, always a pleasure

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    1. Kim: What a lovely thing to say - thank you.

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