I've waxed poetic about Book Alley before. But they moved. And my life got crazy busy. And I haven't been there in a very long time. On Sunday, though, I woke with Daisy Mint on the brain (so scrumptious) and Book Alley is mere steps away. For a thai-loving book geek, I can't think of a better two-fer in Los Angeles. Daisy Mint for lunch. Book Alley for post-thai browsing.
I spent Sunday afternoon doing exactly this and I came away with some unexpected finds:
- A first edition of Lydia Millet's Omnivores, complete with a loose author photo (from Algonquin Books) tucked just inside the front cover. I've been looking for a hardcover version of this for some time, so I was delighted to find this gem tucked away in the M section.
- The beautifully appointed The Art of East Asia, a two-volume set from Koenemann. Not only are the contents fascinating and creatively invigorating, the way the book has been put together is stunning. The interior covers have a subtly printed paper that I caressed for at least ten minutes. The attention to detail in presenting the book as book -- as a beautiful thing to hold in one's hands and really relish -- reminded me a bit of Craig Mod's recent "Hack the Cover" piece about book design in a digital book world. This collection is worthy of its own post, so expect that forthcoming.
- Four books in the larger (how large?) collection of Masterworks of Ukiyo-e. These are also worthy of their own post.
All the art books will only be with me temporarily as they are gifts for a friend who does amazing traditional Japanese tattoo work and who will, I hope, draw much inspiration from all that is contained within their pages.
And yet. The books are in my care for a few more weeks and I plan to fully soak up all their hard-to-find goodness (I've also set alerts at every out-of-print specialist to wrangle copies of my own). I promise to do them justice by sharing their yumminess with all of you. Stay tuned.