The 47 Cent Chinatown Book

Brutal economy. That's what this book is. The thriftiest depiction of a book I have yet to see and that gives it a special place in my collection of books. The cover is speckled brown kraft paper cover with impressed red printing. Inside the book, the pages are doubled, perhaps because the paper is so thin. The yellowish sheets have the delicate feeling and color of a much more valuable paper like kozo. I wish I knew more about the green squares printed inside, but I don't. It probably has something to do with chinese characters. However, my ignorance does add to its charm as an object for me. The part of this book that makes it especially interesting though is the way it is sewn. Not by hand, but straight across the cover with a sewing machine. Of course!

As I was looking around for information notebooks, I found a delightful blog by Jennifer Hsu called The Museum of Notebooks, entirely dedicated to collecting of notebooks. Jennifer has some beautiful examples like this one, one of my favorites...

Notebooks are beautiful objects and a big inspiration for my work. Small, subtle and often ingenious in their design, they're made to be used and carried and are even more interesting after they have been. I've been thinking about them a lot lately.

I have the next two weeks off from class and I hope to produce some of my own during that time. So stay tuned.