|Alberto Moravia's Boredom in the NYRB edition|
Although my interest has waned recently, the series has always been like a beacon. Last year (or longer) I also got hooked on Peter Handke. The NYRB version of Sorrow Beyond Dreams got me scouring shelves for old copies of others like Short Letter, Long Farewell. A few months later, NYRB release a whole bunch. And sometimes that's how it happens for me: seeing the series handpick an author like that highlights them. I may not have given the book a chance otherwise.
NYRB books. I can't stand how perfectly chosen the spine and inside flap colors are. And they are pleasant to read - not too small or big and spaced far from the center. And there is something so nice as seeing the cover of a book, the first impression, being revised and freshened. Another related good example of that is the double-issue Rabbit series.
One wonders what e-books could mean for book design as an object. Sure cover design will persist, as selling MP3s has shown for album covers. But the object itself - the size and girth that determine part of your reading experience may change. It's such a long story that hasn't been finished yet.
|Jenny Saville the Rizzoli Monograph|
One of the best examples is the Jenny Saville Rizzoli book published like 5 or 6 years ago. I mention her alot, but wonder if this book alone has to do with that. I often pick it up when I'm at a loss in my studio. It's exciting to see full spreads of her large work followed by a detail of strokes and layers of decisions. Then a continuing page of interviews, with a studio shot of ideas left on the walls (a photograph included here of Nick Raffel's studio, that I always liked for the same reason). The book really informs me of how her practice might work - short of ever seeing it or talking to her.
|Studio 2009 Nick Raffel (Photograph Stephan P. Ferreira)|
I might owe even more to that monograph. When I bought a copy those 5 or 6 years ago, I realized what the book could be. Maybe I respond to Saville the way I do because maybe that monograph has given me a more robust identity of her than of many others. I've since sought out books that exist as an experience rather than a cheap spread of reproductions.