Book art

Favorite books are like old friends. I often revisit the kindred spirits among them, whether I have one propped up in front of me while I eat or I’m cuddled up with one under the covers after a busy day. They’re cozy and comforting, like a big, fuzzy blanket I can wrap around my body and relax into.

Dwindling shelf space has forced me to audition books through the public library first so that when I finally buy a book for my little collection, I’ll know it’s one I’ll want to read over and over again (otherwise, what’s the point of having it handy?). The sight of favorite books on my shelf just makes me happy too, somehow…all these lives and worlds lined up quietly on a shelf, all appealing to different sides of me.

Little wonder, then, that these particular artworks below make me smile. I love the theme: love among the books, and a heart ready for exhilarating adventures, a mind opening to tremulous new wonders. And books. Bookity booksbooksbooks.

Sophie BlackallPolka Dots in the Strand, 2011

Tatsuro KiuchiIn the Library, 2011

Is there such a thing as comfort reading, same as there is comfort food? Must be. Reading about food has long been a balm for me (even though I don’t actually cook much…blush). As a kid I used to read over and over and over again those chapters in Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby, Age 8 on how Ramona and Beezus were once charged with making Sunday supper and then on how the Quimby family staved off another mopey Sunday with a trip to the local Whopperburger. Some of the meal description is chock-full of savory detail.

“Ramona bit into her burger. Bliss. Warm, soft, juicy, tart with relish. … The French fries—crisp on the outside, mealy on the inside—tasted better than anything Ramona had ever eaten.”

I kid you not, I still can’t eat tasty French fries without thinking of those words. The sensory appeal of food literature gets to me, particularly with regard to touch, taste, and smell. But I  love to read about the cultural background of a dish too.

Jane Mount, Ideal Bookshelf 102: Cooking, 2011
(See Mount’s other cookery-related book paintings here.)

 (via Sophie Blackall on Etsy, Tatsuro Kiuchi for 20×200, and Jane Mount for 20×200)


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