If there is one form of technology that I love above all others, it is fire. Perhaps electricity. Come to think of it, clothing ranks right up there. Coffee, toothpaste, and diet Pepsi would make my top ten list. I digress — it is books that I want to focus on. Books, when you think of it, are simply a game-changing technology. There is the world before books, and the world after Gutenberg. With books, we humans can share so much across time, across space, across culture. I was awash in books this last weekend during my visit to the marvelous Powell's Bookstore in Portland. I go there specifically for the art and photography books. I had a couple of hours; I could have stayed for days.
I returned home with a couple of hundred dollars worth of new art books. (I can justify this because I don't drink or smoke. Think of all the money I am saving for books!) Paul Strand in Mexico by Alfonso Morales and James Krippner may be the crown jewel of the trip.
Beautiful reproductions and an extensive collection of images I've never seen. Without this book, I would probably never see these images. Yes, if there is one form of technology that I love above all others, it is the printed page, bound in the form a simple book. What an elegant technology! This is precisely why I say we will stop publishing the print edition of LensWork when they are throwing dirt in on top of me.
In addition to Strand, I returned with new books on Hiroshige and Hakuin, Eve Arnold's Handbook, an interesting book titled Hands at Work by Iris Graville and Summer Moon Scriver,(a theme at play, methinks) and a pristine used copy of Among Trees by LensWork alumnus Sean Kernan (LensWork #49). Not a bad haul, and a thoroughly lovely day smelling dusty books and printed ink. Today I'm off to the press check for LensWork #98 where the ink will still be wet. Yum!