Welcome to the Library

NiceStacks, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

If it’s true that a camera is like a magic box-that we can use a camera to end a war or paint a masterpiece-than it’s also true that books are our wings. Books are the great escape; they can take us to the heavens, to the depths of hell, or anyplace in between.

Between the time a man is born and the time that same man dies, he can do many things. He can travel to foreign lands, eat exotic foods, drive fancy cars, enjoy the company of many women, become a titan of industry or live as a pauper and die penniless. You could say that every man is the sum of every book he’s ever read and this would not be far from the truth, and maybe it would also be true that the same man could do each and every one of these things within the confines of a single good book.

From a visual perspective, books are very colorful, and they have a natural order about them. Maybe thanks to the Dewey Decimal system or maybe it’s just the way they stack up in row after row at the library, but it seems like the library and the world of books offer infinite possibilities for the photographer. There’s an endless supply of books and each book could make part of an endless stream of images. The colors, shapes, textures, squareness about them, that all contributes to their visual representation sure, but I suspect there’s something more-I suspect books are so easy to photograph because of what they represent. Freedom, ideas, imagination, wild stories yet untold, history, creativity-it’s all there, bound within the spins of those paper and board. To one who reads, there’s not a more lovely sight than the sight of a good book and a comfortable chair.

Maybe it’s because we all know, deep down inside, there are few things as powerful as putting pen to paper, and that, why that’s what makes a book so interesting to photograph.

What kind of books do you like to read? Do you think that some of them are here, lost in those stacks? Maybe your favorite book is here, just hiding for a bit, lurking, waiting for you to come back again?

Until next time…



  1. Peruby
    May 11, 2009 / 8:29 am

    Ah, my favorite books are about real people. I like biographies. (For now, anyway).

  2. mythopolis
    May 11, 2009 / 9:08 am

    Good post! Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones…hands down, my fav. A collection of his short stories! If you look into him, start with the 7 page masterpiece, “The Circular Ruins”. “…and in the dream of the dreamer, the dreamed one awoke.”

    P.S. Especially as translated by Andrew Hurley…complete works are available in 3 volumes through Penguin, wonderfully printed and bound!

  3. Carol
    May 11, 2009 / 3:57 pm

    @Peruby, I love biography’s too. It’s fascinating to peek into the lives of others, isn’t it?

    @Mythos, I love Borges. I once wrote a technical paper based upon “The Book of Sand.” That’s a great read too.

  4. mythopolis
    May 14, 2009 / 3:39 pm

    Yes, The Book of Sand was also quite an amazing piece of literature! He could link words together in less than half/dozen pages, and you could envision the short story as though it was an epic film!

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