There was a time when books came with nothing but hard covers and unbreakable spines, with artwork gracing their covers. I have fallen in love with these books and what they represent: the care taken to present beauty at every opportunity; when art was everywhere, even on bank notes and postage stamps. I fear they are all falling by the wayside of expediency. It seems we are being indoctrinated into the lie that we don't have time to slow down and savor the minutiae of life.
Most days, I look to nature for these elements of beauty. Yesterday, I saw white violets in the meadow. There was more than one extensive patch. I almost missed these quiet beauties as the sky had captured my attention. I was walking among them before I looked down and realized all the beauty right there at my feet.
The book covers that have caught my attention the most are those that bring together my love of books and love of nature. I mean, who doesn't want to be "among the meadow people?"
Ever since I realized insects rule the world and far outnumber us, I've been paying more attention and showing a great deal more respect. Yesterday, two little bugs found their way in with my bed sheets. They were hanging on for dear life, so I took them back outside to their known universe. They might not have been ready for a whole new one. Hmmmmm. Now, I'm wondering if that's not exactly why they came inside with my sheets. They were ready. I will try not to ponder the imponderable too long.
Instead, I will think on this title, the ways in which I can practice having, "a quiet eye," with the birds who frequent the feeder. Again this spring the indigo buntings spent a few days with me, moving from the feeder to the rock garden as morning arrived. Against the grey rocks they are so beautiful.
I don't know about you fellers, but for us girls, Louisa May Alcott was a pretty big deal among readers. I saw, "Little Women," at least parts of it, on television recently, but I didn't see them represented the way they are in my mind's eye, so I turned it off and let what I remembered of them remain. In her honor, I must include this cover.
And then, there's this. James Russell Lowell is the poet, the illustrations are by my beloved Winslow Homer. What's inside would surely set my head spinning. I would love to get my hands on a copy of it, first edition, of course.
I see more second hand bookstores in my future.
I see people out taking walks...gazing at their i phones....sad isn't it? They're missing so much beauty.ReplyDelete
I agree ... I worry about this generation that seems to spend more time on their phones than anywhere else. They are missing so much ...Delete
Ah! Now those are some beauties! Books to treasure.ReplyDelete
I pick out pretty stamps and checks, etc. Little things like that just make me happy.
Something that has been niggling away in the back of my mind lately is envelope art...hummm. ;)
I still try to buy the more artistic stamps, but their use is less frequent for me now. It's these little grace notes that make me happy, too.Delete
I know of someone who regularly gets envelopes with art on them from a friend. I'm envious. I used to send homemade collage greeting cards with envelopes made from calendar art. I need to reinstate that practice, perhaps. :)
You are right that book covers like these are going away. And they are so incredibly beautiful! Just one more little piece of heaven that is getting more scarce. But I'm guilty of buying stuff for my Kindle just for the convenience of it.ReplyDelete
Kindle certainly comes in handy for travelers and in other instances, but I just love the looks of these and the feel of books, the turning of the page ... I'm a die hard traditionalist in some ways. :)Delete
The time is almost here when those who appreciate books and who can actually understand what they read in them will, by default, become a secret society, unfortunately not understood by most of the populace.ReplyDelete
Too many have become attuned to the giving and receiving of the short response, eventually our attention spans become unable to handle more. It's an insidious thing. I realized through my twitter adventures I must fight it, one of the reasons I left. I want the peace that comes from a more tranquil form of communication.Delete
Your words are much like my feelings as I go through my days. What is before us can only be seen if we slow down and look at our surroundings. Such wonderful parts of nature are there for our senses to absorb. I visit my little natural park across from my home everyday and always discover something new to observe. This is a great post -- and I am going to start looking for vintage books like you presented on your post. I too appreciate fine art graphics when it comes to books. I have found a few newer ones that are wonderful at second hand stores. -- thanks -- barbaraReplyDelete
So glad you enjoyed this post, Barbara. Happy Book Hunting. :)Delete
Oh, oh, oh - still my heart. Can you feel me coveting these books from two states over?ReplyDelete
I would LOVE a copy of Courtin', for so many reasons. I love seeing all of these, but, I think my hands are yearning to feel the embossing on The Bird. Oh, these are all so lovely, Teresa. I have a wee collection of such books; they are one of my incurable maladies, the other being garden fever.
Nothing can ever replace the feeling of a book in one's hands. :)Delete
Beautiful. I too love the casual art and design you often find on things such as old adverts, books, banknotes etc. A time when functionality was occasionally allowed to take a back seat to display.ReplyDelete
And postcards! :)Delete
Thanks for commenting, Alan, so good to see you.
You are speaking truth here, Teresa Evangeline, and my agreement is wide and deep. Call it fanciful, call it crazy, but I've decided that I am going to construct for myself a world in which beauty endures and truth is important. Throwing out the television was a start. I still can find particular concerts or theater performances on the computer if I choose. Social media? Phooey.ReplyDelete
As for books? There's a small press in Texas that has dedicated itself to bringing back out-of-print volumes of Texas history. I have two now, and am expecting a third. They're pure luxury: the font, the paper, the covers, the jackets, are gorgeous. They not only contain historical information, they are history in their form. I love them.
Linda, Your comments gave me goosebumps. I have also decided to construct a world of truth and beauty for myself. And, why not? We are the creators of our world ...Delete
I left Twitter a few weeks ago and feel like I was let out of prison. I want to stay present to this beautiful world right outside my door.
I love that a small press is bringing back these beauties. What a wonderful thing to collect ...
The written word, a dying art, can be held in any effective useable vessel in my humble opinion. The trick is to keep people reading, engaged, and peeking their interest in the art. Yes, bound books were the glory days, and that should not be lost or forgotten.ReplyDelete
I suppose reading no matter the medium is what counts, but I sure do love those books ... :)Delete