Quick post today, since I’m supposedly going to spend the day getting to grips with the conference paper I need to present next week. (Incidentally – anybody going to the Popular Imagination and the Dawn of Modernism conference in London?) So, something shallow and frivolous to make up for that… have you ever bought a book solely, absolutely solely, because of how it looked?
I was in Eastgate Bookshop in Warwick (which is rather brilliant, by the way) and spotted a little shelf of King Penguins. They’re all beautiful on the outside, and a little drab on the inside. I couldn’t leave behind this:
Am I interested in the English Tradition in Design? Very slightly. Moreso than I am in Ballooning, which is the other King Penguin I toyed with buying. But above all other criteria, couldn’t resist that William Morris-esque cover, to say nothing of the beautiful feel of the book in my hands. So, thanks William Grimmond, who apparently designed the cover based on a design made by Eva Crofts for Donald Brothers, Dundee. 65 years after you created that cover, you indirectly helped me add an entirely unnecessary book to my library.
But, was it not William Morris himself who instructed us to have nothing in our house that we do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful? The same, dear readers, applies to books… doesn’t it?