Wednesday, October 26, 2005

More Book Talk

For readers in the Flint area, check out the Flint Public Library Book Sale this week, which has three more days to run, Thursday 6-8:30 pm, Friday 11 am-3 pm and Saturday 10 am-5 pm. Prices go down on Friday and Saturday. A huge sale with lots of good stuff, both library discards and donations.

(Yes, I already got the best stuff. But I might have missed something. It's conceivable - I 'm feeling under the weather, so my infamous book-finding sense may have flickered once or twice.)

As Melisande was discussing on her blog, Citadel of Stars (listed in the links to the left), we spent the weekend in Traverse City. She described all the wonderful food, so I'll mention the books. I bought a nice history - Richard II and the Revolution of 1399 by Michael Bennett on sale - the sort of thing one couldn't quite afford if not on sale. (Horizon Books on Front Street has a huge and very sophisticated sale section in the basement.)

But my real find was a huge oversized volume from Taschen, the bargain art book people, Masterpieces of Illumination by Ingo F. Walther and Norbert Wolf. The volume surveys, describes and selects beautifully reproduced miniatures or full-page photos from major illuminated manuscripts from 400 to 1600.

I saw it when I was rather tired the night we got there and it didn't really register at first, then I said to myself "Hey, dummy! You collect books on illumination, right? Check that puppy out!" Yeah, I talk to myself like that, baby. Not out loud. Might scare people.

The volume was shrink-wrapped, immaculate, and on sale for $25, allegedly down from $200. I don't know whether it was the last copy or whether $200 was perhaps a reference to the brand-new price in 2001. Probably the latter - this volume was reprinted in 2005. But it was of a size to suggest that it probably was that sort of genuine bargain, and I trust Taschen - I was certain the book was filled with high-quality reproductions on glossy paper.

When I got it back to the hotel room, I was not disappointed. It was a 25 year anniversary production for Taschen and it is gorgeous. Even the binding was of high quality, something that should worry someone buying a modern book at either $200 or $25. For an illumination nut, it would certainly be worth $200. Not to me, perhaps, but only because I can't afford to go around paying $200 for individual books. I'm presently balking at $150 for a volume on medieval bookbinding that I actually need. I'll do it sooner or later, but the illumination book is just a luxury, since I don't illuminate scrolls anymore. Bookbinding is something I want to get into, however.

Well, enough book rambling. Back to grading papers.


Anonymous said...

If you ever get the chance you should visit the curious book shop down in Ann Arbor. Actually, you may know of it already if your the book junkie you appear to be.

Like 3 stories of nothing but books upon books. My sister goes there and can never leave without 100s of dollars in books. And a bad back from carrying them all.

Mike E.

Anonymous said...

You should let people know about the Library book sale AHEAD of time. Like next week is.....