Beautiful old books

The above:

1. Printed 1767!

2. Price: 29,500 Euros ($40,000)!

Lovejoy is a character in a series of English mysteries who is a “divvy” of antiques. He can divine authenticity. Sometimes an old object will almost knock him out. I felt something similar with some of these very old, very beautiful books yesterday, almost a ringing in the ears. Another book of drawings of chameleons was 12,000 Euros. There was a 1901 first printing of Eadweard Muybridge’s The Human Figure in Motion for 1700 Euros. And in the more reasonable zone for 60 Euros, America by Walker Evans, black and white photos from the depression, a powerful book. (I just ordered a used copy online for $33.00.)

I didn’t realize it was the inspiration (totally) for Robert Frank’s photo book The Americans from the 1950s. Evans is the photographer who teamed up with writer James Agee to do the classic Let Us Now Praise Famous Men in 1941, a book I idolized in the ’60s when I was starting to shoot photos.

When I left the room of rare books, a lady guard asked to look inside my backpack. SOP. Understood. Totally.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

2 Responses to Beautiful old books

  1. waouh, all these treasures, I would feel as a child in a candy store ! Surprised by the intense colors of the 1767 book. I wonder what will become of digital printed pictures in the decades to come…

  2. Nice ! Thanks Lloyd.
    I'd forgotten Walker Evans, seen a few photo's but never the whole book.
    Have you ever come across Sebastio Salgado book "Workers" Its the most moving series of photo's I have ever seen !
    Lovejoy was sooo cool I'm still looking for lost treasure in junk shops and skips.

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