Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Design for Librarian, or, the delights of the used books store

Greetings, patient readers! I hope to recommit to a more frequent blog schedule, a promise all of us once fervent bloggers have made at some point. But I do hope to embark on a more rigorous path of reading now that the summer has reached the point where the idea of summer is more than an idea, it is just a page turn in the planner away. June beckons.

My desire to have an organized office, to subscribe and implement the idea of Office Beautiful, is circumvented by my need to have books about me at all times. I have seen this phenomenon come full circle just recently. In building the collection for San Jose State University Library, I have purchased several titles by author and designer Ellen Lupton. A title unowned by the library caught my eye, and I decided to request it via the amazing and essential consortial borrowing/lending entity, Link+ in order to review it for myself. That title is Design Your Life: The Pleasures and Perils of Everyday Things by Ellen and Julia Lupton. St. Martin's, New York: 2009. I had access to this delightful manifesto for the usual three weeks, then it was summoned for return. Oh, of course I could have renewed it, requested it again, but I placed the book in the book drop on the appointed date, vowing to take in the advice of the authors and be more mindful, while remaining cheerful and whimsical, about the objects in my life. (Aside, books are definitely more than mere objects, but they do have mass.)

A lazy Thursday evening in downtown Mountain View brought the book back into my hands. There are few things more enjoyable in Mountain View than following up your big dinner on Castro street at any number of pleasurable establishments by wandering into BookBuyers. Yes, BookBuyers, which lures you in with the 50% off colorful calendars and the dog-friendly overtures, such as the waterbowl by the front door, if you are lucky enough to a have a dog with you that likes to go to bookstores. Wander further in, and you are treated to everything from childrens' books to graphic novels, art books (good ones!) to music, maps to magazines...it is a browser's heaven.

I was feeling stalwart in my Just Looking outlook, a brief rifle through my usual favorite sections, some mental notes about reading, and then, finishing up my tour of the shop with the section of new arrivals. Waiting for me, yes, the Luptons' 2009 Design Your Life. Obviously, I was meant to own a copy, and having trifled with Fate before and lost, am more mindful of following clues placed in my path.

I hope you'll find a copy in your own favorite bookstore, be it new or used, or perhaps from your favorite library or consortium. Here's the ISBN if you need to go the book-addiction route of amazon dot com: 0312532733

1 comment:

James said...

I struggle with that same conflict between a desire for simplicity and order and the desire for books.