30 September 2009

A Childhood Dream

Images courtesy of Creative Review.

These photographs are from an exhibition entitled The London Book Trade by Mike Tsang. The exhibition, currently showing at The Biblion Gallery in Mayfair, provides a unique insight into the mysterious and alluring world of London's rare book trade. Tsang sought to capture the character of the books and locations, as well as the traders who operate there, and I find the results quite simply amazing.

Whilst I have a love of literature, I also have a love for books, by which I mean the objects themselves. There is a beauty to be found amongst a collection of books, whether on the purely aesthetic level of a row of leather and cloth bound spines, or when considering the insightful compilation of voices and minds contained therein. I have never been able to bring myself to throw away a book, and indeed I try to treat them with the greatest of care. As such there is something about a career dealing with rare and old books which appeals to me on multiple levels.

I suppose I am drawn to antique books not only for the history they represent, but also out of a certain respect for them, as one would have for an elder. Something about these photographs, these rare glimpses into a world I can only dream of, speaks out not only to the bibliophile in me, but also the child. That child who stood there so full of wonder at the vast possibilities of the written word.

Currently playing: Etude Op. 10 No. 3 - Chopin

xxxx

51 comments:

  1. The scent of an old book. The yellowing pages. The crack sound of the spine as it opens for the first time in a long time. The titles emblazoned in gold. <3

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  2. I'm pretty callous about my books - selling off the ones I don't absolutely ADORE. But even so, I can totally see the appeal of collecting. There is nothing so soothing as the sight and smell of loads of ancient tomes.

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  3. haha yes, you should definitely go for the teddy bear dreamhelmet.

    this post is wonderful!! books are just so amazing, especially when they're antique. there's something so magnetic about them. i hope to have hundreds someday! when i have a library in my house (:

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  4. I love when I get an old book and then there is a name or a note to someone or a poem written in the front in spidery ink or faded pencil

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  5. i hope to one day set up a library to house all my book officially in the house. i love to buy books and to read.... hope you have a great day my dear.

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  6. I am so, so with you. My dream is floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelves stocked full of new and antique tomes.

    One day.

    * Kelsey

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  7. such an incredible library for sure!

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  8. Ooh I went in a bookshop exactly like this today! It's wallpapered with old news clipping and engravings and plays old fashioned jazz. Plus it has that lovely old-musty-book smell. And it's dirt cheap! £3 for a 1964 french book about philosophy. Score and a half.
    I'd love a library, maybe when I win the lottery :)

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  9. You really are having a book moment! I do love old books, no need to crack the spine or worry about bending a page. Old library books are fascinating, I sometimes look at the stamps and wonder about all the people who had the book before it reached me

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  10. old books..well, there is a place we go in the old market and there are so many books there..and it smells very old..but the bad thing is the owner that looks like an old vampire has cats.

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  11. amazing, but it would be so time consuming, too.

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  12. omg! tons of books!
    i'm so interested to read those antique books!

    http://momfashionworld.blogspot.com/

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  13. Yes, yes!! A library that is several rooms big in my house is a dream of mine too!! This looks like a super exhibition - many thanks for the post - hope you're having a terrific week DK!

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  14. I shouldn't even get started on how much of a bibliophile I am. Have you seen Thomas Jefferson's library? It's a book lover's heaven. One of my dreams is to have a circular room in my house completely lined floor to ceiling with old, leather bound books with only room for a fireplace on one of the walls. Of course, a ginormous comfy red armchair will reside in the center of the room.

    Someday, someday.

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  15. love the smell of old books.. haha

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  16. I love these photos. I have always longed to live in a big house one day that had an entire library! (I collect old books. My oldest is a book of poetry/essays from 1835).

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  17. ah libraries! so much fun to get lost in the stacks of paper...

    unfortch, i see the libraries of the future being external hard drives shaped like books.

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  18. I totally agree, books are amazing objects to have in your home.

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  19. To be surrounded by books is one thing,but antique books are amazing !!!

    And September Issue is really a beautiful movie:))

    I love love literature books and movies as well. Its really different from normal ones.

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  20. It's so sad to know that in 20 years, books will be a rarity. My career was motivated by books but librarians these days have nothing to do with books because information is elsewhere.

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  21. I respect books. I long for the day when they ruled, and Kindle wasn't a gleam in anybody's eye. Kindles are for kindling.

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  22. J'ai aussi un grand amour des livres, un besoin de les toucher, de les voir, de les avoir.

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  23. Books are such a big thing for me (and my heart). I could live in a bookshop, especially the one that sells old books. Not old as used, but antique. I grew up surrounded by book as it's a part of my culture and historic traditions (I am Russian and we do love to read), so I can never have enough of them. Don't you just love the smell of books? The new hardbacks or very old fragile ones that have this special sweet slighly dusty fragrance of time?
    Reading your post made me run and grab one of my treasures and spend a day enjoying a beautiful story of a classic kind. :)

    And yes, something else I've got to tell you. :) You won the watch!!! I am doing the post on this tomorrow, but I just wanted to let you know now (no harm, I think :) )
    Would you kindly let me know your address, please? My e-mail is on my blog, top corner. As soon as I get it I will forward your contact details to the designer and he will post the watch to you. :) Congratulations!

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  24. i could lose myself in that library for hours, i love old books!xx
    marian

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  25. I really know what you mean, even these pictures give me that old book feeling.

    xoxo

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  26. When I was little I wanted to be a librarian just so I could be surrounded by books all the time. That dream still lives in a little corner of my mind. : )

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  27. We have a "library" section of our apartment, but not nearly as vast and as beautiful as these pictured here... I dream of a beautiful oak-paneled library with leather bound tomes to treasure in a wing chair by lamplight. :)

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  28. yes, it has always been a dream of mine as well!

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  29. I agree with other bloggers...it has always been a dream of mie as well! J'adore!


    X♥X♥

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  30. i have this romantic vision of a dickensian library, wall to wall antiqued books, worn velvet couch, and a fire in the fireplace... just curled up while its raining.
    or something like that haha
    very pleasant post
    xoxox s

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  31. beautiful pictures, makes me want to move into a library.

    love it how you describe your love for books.

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  32. ok the truth i dont collect books like mysister or anything but it'll be nice to have a huge library lol.


    great post

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  33. the 3rd picture is amazing ! I mean they all are really nice, but that one is like so cool !! =)
    take care dear

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  34. beautiful images, i adore books too, starting arranging dem nicely on a shelf instead of dumping em in a carton :o]

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  35. i always loved old book shops.. especially when the ceilings are super low and the floor is crooked. great pictures.

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  36. this is my dream. im not kidding. i want this. and plus a dvd library. hahahahah

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  37. OH, MY GOSH!! Are you sure we aren't related someway? I ADORE books---especially if they are old---love the musty smell, the heaviness of them.... I want me a library in my house SO BAD!!!

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  38. this picture make me want to read... i like the smell of old books--weird! iknow!!!
    xx

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  39. wonderful pictures, DK!!! i love the people in them, too! they have character. lol.

    i think you will love it in the little library inside the library my mom's a librarian in. it has big old books that look like the ones in the pics. :D

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  40. I love these dear, thanks for sharing ♥

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  41. This is such an incredible post. I love books. It's not just the act of reading a book. I love books themselves, especially older ones. There's always a story behind them. I love the look of them, the feel of them, the smell of them, etc.

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  42. I am in a hunt to really get some amazing books for my shelves and for my reading list! A good book beats TV and anything else unnecessary any day!

    Have a great weekend!

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  43. Your feelings of books ,put me back into the beautiful memories,beholden and be charmed.....


    Joolliieess:-)

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  44. I love reading too!
    I would give anything to go to one of those musty old book stores. I love the vintage feel that they have to them, not to mention the amazing books. ;)

    Xx

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  45. I love artful arrangements of books!

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  46. I love artful arrangements of books!

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  47. i would love my own library!

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  48. It's amazing how much books bring into our lives. I remember shelves like these, in my dad's study. he was a legal advisor, and mom was a lecturer in Indian Philosophy, and Child Psychology. I know, I know! So, I grew up reading stuff a little different from your regular Archies Comics or the Famous Five series.
    When I grew up, my love for books stayed with me. It reminded me of home. My husband and I have a massive collection of books. Unfortunately, our house cannot hold any more. So every few month,s we conduct an Old Books And Beer night, where we encourage people to sell their old books, and the proceeds from the sale go to charity.

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  49. Wow. I would love to be so utterly surrounded by books like this. There's something so magical about old books that's totally lost in today's mass-produced books.

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  50. hope u slow doen on the new books obsession.lol. we still want fashion pix!! :o).
    i like vintage books cos i have a feeling of being part of the past, as its possessor...

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  51. I'm in love with this post. These pictures make my knees all weak and wobbly!

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