Thursday, August 04, 2011

In this case, form drove function

About a year ago I woke up with an idea for a small book, one that would fold out from its self-enclosing wrapper to take the reader away. I'm also frustrated by book shows where only certain pages are open to the reader—such the antithesis of the narrative's intent, which urges people to come along for as long as they like. This book could fold out and be displayed—and read—in its entirety, without the use of hands if necessary. Then, when readers were done with it, it could be tidied up for the shelf, like a little package set for traveling.

Slight enough to fit in the pocket and made of papers tough enough to withstand burnishing by fingers and years, this book could be found centuries on, intriguing further generations of readers as it journeyed through time and space. Here is the model of the book that my mind saw, so teeny it can truly be considered thumbnail scale:

And here's the result:

A poem by Charles Baudelaire that's haunted me for years immediately came to mind for the text, and so over some months I set it in three batches (mostly because I kept running out of e's). And because Ma Nao Books shies away from anything too commercially successful, it is in French.

Words pale. Let's read it in pictures:

If you would like your very own copy, you can order one on my Web site.