Sunday, August 20, 2017

What I Read This Week: August 20, 2017

This week's reading list is very (very) short. The Husband and out were out of town for most of the week so my completed reading is a pitiful pile. Also, I melted once we returned to the DC humidity. Now I remember why I enjoyed summer's in Upstate New York.

  • Books
    • I only managed a few pages more in Feral. The amount may have been pitiful, but the writing in the book is fantastic. It's some of the most vivid non-fiction prose I've read in a long time.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Friday Find: Pouch

The school year is just around the corner. In some districts, it might have already started. If you're looking for a way to store your (or your kids) pencils and other writing tools, I'd like to direct your attention to this pouch from NYPL. It's a chic and slightly nerdy way to store those class essentials.
You can buy this from the NYPL store.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Why I Love... Books as Art

I am putting together a small exhibit for work that focuses on the book as an object of art. About a week ago, I searched our stacks looking for beautiful books. I found many and I loved every one of them. 

Books are already great because they take your mind to new places, but they are also physical objects. Books have bindings and printed pages which we can admire for their design and construction as well as their content. Some of the books I discovered in our stacks had stunning tooling and gilt work on the boards and spines. The geometric patterns shown brightly when tilted in the light. The covers can go beyond scroll work to include illustrations or vignettes based on the book's material. Many covers didn't shine, but were marbled in stunning colors and swirls. 

Inside the covers, end papers can include everything from printed designs, to maps, to illustrations. Books can also have wonderful illustrations printed inside that can vary from simple line drawings to full-color artistic paintings. Book owners can also paste in beautiful book plates which are collector's items themselves.

The edges of books are not to be overlooked. Many books of a certain era showcase gilt or marbled edges. Others offer stunning examples of fore-edge paintings. These books, when their pages are fanned just so, display stunning examples of landscape painting. When the book is closed, you'd never know such a stunning piece of work is there. 

Books have been around for hundreds of years and changes to binding and printing techniques have created so many beautiful pieces that it is impossible to list them all. You can see some great examples of beautiful books on the National Library of Sweden's Flickr page.

The next time you're in a bookstore, why not take a moment to pick up a book and just admire its artistry and design. You'll find that the item in your hands is a marvel to behold.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

What I Read This Week: August 13, 2017

Short post this week without any bells and whistles. The Husband and I are visiting my parents and I'm typing this up really quick before we go play tourist.
  • Magazines
    • HGTV, September 2017 - I don't even know why I bother including this title in the round-up. It's basically a catalog and I always flip through it very quickly. The only thing I slowed down for in this issue was the piece involving DIY makeovers of objects and styling options.
  • Books
    • I spent an hour on Sunday reading Before the Fall because I wanted to finish and return it to the library before we left on vacation. I achieved that mission and, while I enjoyed the book, the ending was so real to life that it made me angry. In a good way, I guess, but I was still cranky. This book is going to be hard to review without spoilers.
    • I'm now reading Feral. A book about rewilding by George Monbiot. So far, I love the writing.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Friday Find: Wild Mobile

Someone I know needs to have a baby soon so I have a reason to buy this mobile. It's so cute!

You can find this in the dropsofcolor Etsy shop.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

What I Read This Week: August 6, 2017

This was, perhaps, one of the most normal weeks I've had all summer. Work was just work. Home was just home. There were no random nights out. There was just daily life. I kind of liked it. Must be the introverted side of me.

  • Work
    • I started reading Digital Imaging: A Practical Handbook by Stuart D. Lee this week. We're pivoting toward digitization in my department so I'm reviewing information that might be of use in getting our nascent program to the next level. 
  • Magazines
    • Food Network, September 2017 - This issue had quite a food tasty looking recipes. I most enjoyed the ones that were included in the sheet pan dinners and cookout cookbook section. I also liked the small pullout book devoted to sandwiches. The article on baking and cooking tips from readers had a few things I've not seen before. There was a lot of love for using cooking spray to deal with sticky ingredients.
  • Books
    • I'm still making headway in Before the Fall. I really just ought to spend one night ignoring the internet and finishing this book. Falling asleep after 5 pages each night is really throwing off my reading groove. I was smart one day this week and got in to bed early one night and read for about an hour. Definitely got through more pages that way.
  • Other

Friday, August 04, 2017

The Friday Find: Rain, Rain

DC has been deluged by a lot of summer storms recently. This is why I always carry an umbrella in my bag. You never know when the clouds will open up and drench you in two minutes. If you're looking for an umbrella that shows off your bookishness, I suggest taking a look at this Pride and Prejudice version.
You can find this in the LiteratiClub Etsy shop.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Links and Stuff: August 3, 2017

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Why I Love... A Fresh Start

This year, I've weeded a large number of books from my collection. There were titles on my shelves that I've owned for years... many for over a decade. Not once in all that time did I pick them up to read. They were always "I'll get to them later."

I've been listening to The Minimalists Podcast and they often discuss bringing items into your life with intention. I like that. I decided that I want a fresh start with my collection. So, this summer my shelves got a major weed. I finally stopped keeping everything that I thought I might read later. What is left on my shelves are books that I have read and loved OR I know I will read in the next year. That's it. My bookcases are pretty bare now... which has a bonus action of making it easier to move in the future.

This is a fresh start for my book collection and it's great. My collection is now focused more on my reading style. I'm a mood reader and I often hit up the library to fulfill those moods. And, now, there are few books lingering at home stressing me out because I keep ignoring them. When I do bring a book home now it's because I know it will add value to my shelves and to my life.