Books I: Intro

Not all books are beautiful. Nonetheless the “book”, both a functional and aesthetic object, is one of humankind’s most beautiful creations. As a portable container of words, pictures, accounts, diagrams, notations, etc., it may well be the single smartest “thing” to have evolved out of human culture during our long, uneven history — the Internet not withstanding.

The beauty of books lies in the fame or potential of their content, the excellence of their design, or in their metaphysical weight as physical objects on a bed stand or library shelf. Concerning the latter, it seems self-evident that books are magical even if they contain nothing more than lists of names, addresses and phone numbers. Regardless of the actual dimensions of the book, its contents expand well beyond the boundaries of the container once it has been opened by the reader.