The Book

the_bookthree-and-a-half-stars /5

In the introduction, Pico Iyer points out that books maintain a beauty that transcends modern cover art. There is something that intrinsically speaks to you before you even open the books, something you can appreciate without even looking at it–maybe just feeling the weight of the pages when you close your eyes.

The Book is a photography collection that shows how books can be seen as and transformed into alternative art. It is a celebration of everything that makes a book a book – not just the works printed on the pages.

Some of the pictures are close ups of old pages that have been creased and folded until they no longer lay flat when the book is closed – the fibers have begun to fray and you can almost feel how soft they must be. Others juxtapose the human made nature of a book with forces of the natural world: water and fire. It evokes a string of emotions to see the waterlogged pages and the burning spines, but in the end you must acknowledge the alternative beauty in the images – even if it pains you to see books destroyed.


Originally published on San Francisco Book Review.

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