never judge a book etc etc

so, a long time ago I bought a book purely and simply because I liked its cover; I haven't ever read it, but it's on the shelf for the day (which will surely come) when I get around to reading all the books on the shelf that I haven't yet read (at the moment I'm rereading Clare Morrall's Astonishing Splashes of Colour, which I haven't read for a long time and really enjoyed so thought I'd read it again) (I preferred Natural Flights of the Human Mind, but I can't find where I put that)
back to the unread book:or rather, its cover, which, as you can see, uses this design (but not in pink):
Puppet Ballet,
designed in 1953
Jacqueline Groag

I don't know why it is that I buy books because of something I'm interested in, and then upon coming home, put the book down and don't remember to pick it up again to peruse the interest further. . . I have shelves and shelves of books, which are fairly tidily arranged. . .

a rather sizeable collection of poetry books; the Ladybird collection from my childhood and a small pile of Observer pocket sized hardbacks; a series of second-hand dog-eared paperback Nevil Shute's published by Pan and another Pan paperback series of Ian Fleming's Bond - similarly dog eared; books on typeface, colour, various Kaffe Fasset textile/source compendiums; art books, exhibition catalogues; novels grouped by author/publisher

. . .you're probably the same and if you're not you're different in your own way - unless you're a Dewey-Decimal aficionado there's no right or wrong way to pile books upon a shelf, is there. . .

Furnishing Fabric, 1954
Jacqueline Groag

(© V&A Images/Victoria and Albert Museum, London)

anyhow, basically because the woman was called Jacqueline and I liked the design on the front, I purchased this book:

and lo and behold! she turns out to be the artist who designed the fabric that was used for the cover of the book that I'd bought because I liked the design on the cover! strange coincidence, really. . . and when I was googling images to share this with you - small diversion from my written words, for you to check out Jacqueline Groag's sumptuous designs - I came across this book:

which is one I already own (the coincidences get stranger as the spiral becomes ever smaller) as I bought it when researching my designs for the binding of the Elizabeth David. . .

now that's a long story, which I won't go into but the short version of the end of that story is that once I'd finished binding the book, I had to make a simple slip case box within which to put the book for transportation to the competition judges. . .

I'd run out of time, so I made the case carefully but quite quickly and decided to cover the slipcase with yellow bookcloth (to match the yellow I'd used in the fine binding). . .
the following image shows the yellow leather I used at the spine,
some of the yellow ink I'd printed the cover image with
and some of the yellow paint I'd used for the tail:
(you can't see it, but the endband stitching at the head of the book
was yellow) (at the tail, it's black, as you can see above)

and for added interest (cos, let's face it, a plain bookcloth slipcase isn't very interesting, is it?) I used a (very simple) black and white photocopy of the cover of the Artists' Textiles book. . . only I blacked out the text and then with a yellow felt tip coloured in the white on the fabric skirt (cos the yellow had come out grey in the photocopy). . .

when it came to it, and the binding won a minor prize and was going to be in the exhibition, it turned out that the judges thought the case was actually part of the entry and so displayed it along with the book. . . only without putting a widget inside the box to maintain its integrity, which was compromised by the weight of the book propped up on top (I'd made it quite quickly, but it had been a robust slipcase for the purpose of carrying the book); you can just see the yellow of the bookcloth and the pattern of the Artists' Textiles book cover in the photo of the exhibit (the book is resting on the case) (yes, the inside of the case is red, because that was the other colour - along with the yellow - that I'd used in the fine binding) below:

(and no, I have no clue about the © issues
of using a photocopy of a bookcover on a private binding,
but that's probably no excuse, is it)

anyhow, what I wanted to say is that it's funny how seemingly random things we do today take us back to things we chose to do an age ago and is it any coincidence all those things happened, (especially given that, in this specific case, I have an interest in the 50s and art and textiles and and and) and/or is it just a little moebius loop that life has thrown at me and. . .

. . .has anything similar
ever happened to you,
dear reader?
what influences
your decision
to buy a book?


Mel said...

I took a wander on the link and smiled at the fun-ness of the fabrics.
But I was already smiling from the memories of the book adventure....and the awesomeness of the honour of having the book on display.
Excellent wander through the memory bank, I might add. I'm still so proud for you for that whole adventure......


Books talk to me.

"Take me home!! Take me home!!"
So, I take 'em home.

Used to be I talked to the book. "Now that's what I need!" And I'd scoop up book after book to go read so I could become some 'expert', which was just sillier than silly but honest and revealing, huh?

Needless to say--my 'expert' books all have new homes and I now buy books that talk to me.
Or--I'll buy books that sometimes come which case it's the person who's talked to me but invariably the book says "Really....take me home! Take me home!!"

And once in a while they're gifted to me because they spoke to the other person "Give me to Mel! Give me to Mel!!"

I'll admit they're scattered here and there--organized in a fashion that makes sense only to me. But it's rare I find myself saying "Now where'd I put that book....." More likely it's the book who's ready to be read that gets my attention by saying "Pick me! Pick me!!"

Spadoman said...

Wow! Book binding, fabrics, fonts, knitting... and the list goes on and on. You have wide and varied interests and you seem to have great knowledge of all of these subjects, (and probably more). That is very admirable and I truly love reading about any of these subjects at any time. Too bad, If you didn't do normal things like forget your keys, I'd think you really have got your life all together and in sync with the universe! (just joking)

I want to read more books. I have a hard time with concentration, but that aside, I just have a harder time getting started. I tend to read the same books over and over, the ones I like, afraid to take a chance on something that I might not like.
You do with books, (and probably fabrics and fonts), what I do with everything. That is, if I like the way it looks, I want it. I can't identify what it is that catches my eye, but there is something, and I like it.
Good stuff here, as usual.


word ver: oblet
an oblet is an omelette served in a stemmed glass.

Dave said...

Glad you I have an interest in the 50s. Speaking as one of them.

I, Like The View said...

Dave I thought you were spoken for

man you're so sweet! I reread books I really like, but there are always more that catch my eye. . . glad you understand that too!

erm, I - for one - am not in sync with the universe, or life or anything really - but that just makes it all the more fun (some of the time, anyhow!)

Mel perhaps that's why I have so many books - they asked me to take them home! talking of which, guess what I saw in the charity shop. . . the alphabet book you shared the other day! I wanted it so much when I saw your image (it was calling me really loudly!) and looked on Amazon, only it's out of print. . . then the shop had two for sale (cheaper than the second hand price on Amazon, but still a good return for the charity) so I bought both - one to keep and one to give as a gift


see, if it hadn't called to you, they might not have called to me!

the fabrics are just beautiful and quite quaint, in a non-chintzy way; some of the designs are very painterly, drawn even, whilst still being graphic - I like the combination

I, Like The View said...

(oh, and Mel, look at this site; I read about this couple - her husband's also an artist - in a magazine, she reworks 50s fabrics/designs into things for the home)(can't remember what he does. . . d'oh)

Mel said...

Oh who cares what he does! Did you see the kitties with the birdies on their backs?!

And the fishies.....OH... And the fun little birdies stacked on each other...awwww. :-)

dinahmow said...

And, after many years of wandering and listening to the speaking books, and the demanding pictures and the music that seeped through her pores...there came the day when ( as she had dreaded, but ignored) she had to make a terrible decision...which books could she keep and which must go?
Many years and many wanderings later...the question is still unanswered.
But she has stopped buying books. Almost.Really! Nearly?

(And if she sees a Jacqueline Broag you can bet it will scream to be taken home!)

couti - haute couture for the masses

Mel said...

I killed a lizard.

Better I should look at pretties on fabric.....


mig said...

Oh it's so nice to see the book again.
I can't think that anything so beautifully and neatly convoluted has ever happened to me but maybe I just didn't notice.
Sometimes a book cover just reaches out and takes my hand but at the moment I'm searching for particular kinds of books and working my way through through the works of a half dozen authors I've become attached to recently. So I look at all the 'A's and the Sh's and the Tr's and the W's and then I spread out a bit and look for someone new that I've heard of but haven't read. Difficult because I usually can't remember wo they are until I've read them.

mig said...

Often I can't remember who they are either.