The Many Lives of Books

There are so many ways books fit into our lives – big and small.

I bought a guide to craft beer in Japan prior to my trip two years ago. The book was clearly a project of passion for the author and so helpful for a English speaker in a kanji based country.

Aaron Draplin’s new book displays his body of work in full color glory. He is so prolific that the work itself creates the visual narrative. His dad is there. His dog is there.  I am there along side him.

Dan Roam has one page in the Back of the Napkin that is worth the entire cost of the book. It’s page 141 and it tells me exactly what kind of picture to make in answering any question that arises. Everything else in the book supports that idea.

In Cultivating The Empty Field, Hongzhi speaks to me with one line:

A rock contains jade without knowing the jade’s flawlessness.

My favorite book by Brene Brown doesn’t exist as a book. It’s an eight hour audio session that SoundsTrue published. She talked about all of her best ideas there. It’s not a book, but I still think of it like it is one.

I remember reading Tom Peters’ Re-Imagine and counting the different books he quoted and referenced.  He gave life to all of those books in the unique way he connected them together.

I have a book in a milk carton.

I have an unbook.

I have architectural portfolio that’s been depicted as a graphic novel.

I have the Birds of North America guide that my grandmother and I would use to identified what was at the feeder.

I have tiny Golden Books.

And of course, I wrote a book about books.


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