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Midnight ramblings

As I get more into this project, I’ve started talking to Librarians at work, showing them the blog, and asking for help with finding cool books. The other day, I was talking with L. who took me up to the fifth floor of his library. We were walking around the P’s and he was pulling mad books from all over the world – Greek, Indian, Russian, Vietnamese; I was overwhelmed, taking notes of the stack we were passing through. One thing he said, really struck me as it lays at the core of why I started this blog:

“Digitizing projects are good but they don’t give you the feel or the smell of the paper; digital copies do not have a soul.”

This blog is about recognizing the value, the art, the soul of good books. Walking with L., meandering through space and time on the fifth floor, I realized just how big of a task I’ve started and how lucky I am that there are Librarians like L. to help me take it on.

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Requiescat in pace

Two books that at first glance may not have much in common:

Graven Images, by Allan Ludwig (WorldCat)

The MS-DOS Encyclopedia, Microsoft Press, Edited by Ray Duncan (WorldCat)

Both deal with the dead, and speak of the symbols and glyphs chosen to represent them. And while the subjects of Graven Images date back some 300-400 years, The MS-DOS Encyclopedia only goes back twenty. However, that equates to about 350 Internet Years.

Death and Time

"Death and Time"

Detail of map of graves

Detail of map of graves

At 1500+ pages, the MS-DOS Encyclopedia is about 75 cents wide

At 1500+ pages, the MS-DOS Encyclopedia is about 75 cents wide

64K of memory - what to do with it all?

64K of memory - what to do with it all?

I think this snippet of code was used to stop Master Control in Tron

I think this snippet of code was used to stop Master Control in Tron

More pics at Flickr.

Two full weeks have gone by since I’ve started this blog and I think it’s coming along nicely. On Friday, I went back through my older posts and added WorldCat entries for as many of the books I’ve covered so far. I’ve also added a link to the Library Finds Flickr page. And lastly, I’ve added a list of blogs I’m reading that revolve around Libraries.

This project is quite fun and I’m having a great time. Posts should be pretty regular on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Typography. Sweet, sweet Typography. Today’s finds are: The Elements of Typographic Style (WorldCat), The ITC Typeface Collection (WorldCat), and The Typographic Book: 1450-1935 (WorldCat). I went looking for Elements in the Arts Library and didn’t find it in the stacks. Our online catalog said it was not checked out so I thought, “Maybe it’s in the oversize section”. I made my way down two floors and searched the oversize section to no avail. Instead, I stumbled on the other two books. Oof, these boys were large! I decided to check them out and take them with me at any rate. And since I had to pass by where I originally looked for Elements, I thought I’d look for it one more time. And what do you know? I found it. Persistence is a virtue I always have to work at but it usually pays off.

All black.

All black.

Mmmm. Avante Guard.

Avant Guard Gothic. Bold yet caring.

Bauhaus Light tastes great AND is less filling

Reason #1: Bauhaus Light tastes great AND is less filling.

Size matters.

Size matters.

A page from a Gutenburg Bible.

A page from a Gutenberg Bible.

Minimalists, those Germans.

Minimalists, those Germans.

I’ve got a set of 30 pictures on Flickr. These three books are definitely my favorite find so far.

Of Camelot

Searching for Fairy Tales, I cam across a 1912 edition of Howard Pyle’s The Story of King Arthur and his Knights (WorldCat). Originally published by Charles Scribner’s Sons in 1903, this edition showed a little wear and tear and some fading in the printing on the spine. However, the front cover and inside pages were still in great condition (if slightly colored).


Viva La France!

Sorry to all francophiles if the title of this post is incorrect. I made the French Onion Soup yesterday and it was hella good. The original recipe from The Epicurean was easy enough to follow:

 

Chop 2 onions into bits
Fry said onions in a crap ton of butter
Add 2 qts of broth, some parsley, some thyme and a bayleaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring everything to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes
Meanwhile, chop up some bread into pieces and toast in the oven
Strain out bouquet of herbs
Line bowl with toast and gruyere cheese
Add soup to bowl
Top with more toast and cheese and bake in oven until cheese is browned.

It came out pretty damn good for a first try. Next time I’m using white onion instead of yellow and a plain baguette instead of sourdough.

 

Presoup goodness

Presoup goodness

 

Ready to start simmering

Ready to start simmering

 

Toasty

Toasty

Almost there...

Almost there...

 

Laying the foundation

Laying the foundation

 

Hells to the yes.

Hells to the yes

First off, I’ll finally have a chance to make French Onion Soup from The Epicurean this weekend. Looking forward to that. Also, it turns out Monsieur Daudet was quite the loyal monarchist. He had beef with all the revolutionaries and called for the reinstatement of the King of France.

Today’s find is from Dickens. It’s Volume 21 of his complete works (WorldCat), printed right before the start of the 20th Century.

Had to read this in 9th grade and hated it from the start. This time around, Im finding I Like Dickens writing style.

1899, yo. This is my oldest find yet (that isn't in special collections).

I had to read this back in the 9th grade and I have to admit, I thought it was teh suck. Then again, all I was reading back then was Stephen King.

I had to read this back in the 9th grade and I have to admit, I thought it was teh suck. Then again, all I was reading back then was Stephen King so what did I know?

Being over 100 years old, the pages are yellowed and stiff, prone to tearing.

Being over 100 years old, the pages are yellowed and stiff, prone to tearing.

The corners show the most wear and tear.

The corners show the most wear and tear.

The book smelled old and dry and was very brittle. Come visit it before it’s sent into retirement.