Category Archives: Bookshop and Books

Building a Library

As I mentioned in the last post, I have found it enjoyable to search for beautiful books to fill my library.   There are many sources and the internet is a helpful aid in pulling it all within reach.

Pinterest again was a great help in finding sources.  There are so many! Some are already reduced and ready for printing to use for mini shelves. This one is such a link–    Herbie’s Collection of Printables

Graphic designers love to pin the book covers for design inspirations.  One such board lead to the library collections of several universities with wonderful sources.  You can spend hours enjoying the visual glory of time honored works of printers in the past.   Here are few of my favorites from following Pinterest board leads.

Publishers’ Bindings Online, 1815–1930: The Art of the Book. University of Wisconsin–Madison. A great collection, a little hard to search at first but wonderful covers and spines. Try searching  keyword “art nouveau” to get started and then clicking various highlighted items to browse deeper.  Plan to get lost in this library!

Here is a board of book covers to start with Beautiful Antique Books.  After that just keep looking and pinning covers that appeal to you.

If you like children’s literature –  the Baldwin Collection of the University of Florida is a good place.  Again, it takes some time to figure out the system enough to search but well worth it.

Here is another place to browse and gain some insight into some lovely rare books.   Pirages Fine Books and Manuscripts  It also has pdf catalogues of their books.

Making miniature versions it is not simply finding a complete book cover and shrinking it down in a smaller copy.  Sometimes it is possible but generally there is tweaking of colors, lettering, or a need to create a back cover in a similar style to match the front. At times some of the detail has to be eliminated so it doesn’t because a blob when sized down.  It is not possible to show a step by step process to do this because the steps would change with which graphic program using, what version and even what kind of computer.  There are too many variables to nail down to be helpful.  Don’t let that stop you.  Experiment in a graphic program without a time deadline to build some skills if you are craving to do it.  Remember to be child like and just try things to see what happens. Patience and accepting that it is not an instant gained skill will help.

I  realized my book making skills have grown over time when I compare my current books to earlier ones created years ago.  All that tinkering added up over time! So hang in there if you give it a go.

So to celebrate the love of books…….

I am sharing a file of book covers – Mini Books from Miniature Whims

Here is the wood and inner cover patterns for them – Sizing for Mini Books

I like the book covers to be backed with a solid color cardstock before wrapping them around a wooden book form.  The inner cover hides the white backside of the graphic covers and adds some sturdiness to the mini book.  If the white backside of the individual books shows the realism fades and it quickly looks like paper wrapped chunks of wood.  So for me the added step creates a better book. For the best results use good paper (presentation paper is good choice) and set the printing to high quality(300 dpi) not speedy.

PS.  I do sell this as a kit on my website if you are not inclined to cutting out wood forms and cardstock covers.

Enjoy the books and add to your miniature library.

 

In Search of a Good Book….

thru-the-window

This little shop is an attempt to capture my love of books and the many happy times that I have spent browsing in bookstores.  There is always a thrill of finding the perfect book of the moment when scanning the shelves.  The rich layering of detail in this shop was very satisfying, to recreate my feelings associated with books in a miniature setting.

My bookseller is using his spare moments wisely between customers to read.  It always makes me smile thinking of all the times I’ve read a bit more while I waited for something to finish or start. There is that instant transportation from reality to a place described in the pages of a book when you start to read.  It’s a magic trick that doesn’t grow old.

front-1

The rich colors of blue and gold on the exterior front windows invites the casual stroller to come inside.  The warm glow of light shows the books within.

interior

The shelves are full of colorful books of all sizes with ornate covers that make your fingers itch to pull out the one that catches your eye, to browse the pages within. The artwork of past eras still work to draw the book to your attention.

full-shelves-2

It took a lot of books to fill this small book shop.  I am embarrassed to say how long this project has been around unfinished.  There has been many stops and starts over time  from various interruptions but I was determined to finish this time since there was only a few things left that it needed. So now I get to share it with you and invite you inside this tiny corner to book heaven!

I did at one time think there should be no repeated books but abandoned that idea due to the shear volume of books the shelving needed.

The paintings on the walls needed to reflect the love of reading.  I settle on these two to fit the bill.  The relaxed reader in a summer hammock and the thoughtful reflections of the serious reader were perfect.  They are now framed and have a home in the shop.

paintings

The outside cart stacked with a casual assortment of books was another detail I enjoyed adding.  How many times that has worked to stop someone passing by to look just for a moment and then get drawn into going inside for more?

bookseller-and-his-wares

The snail light is a favorite piece.  It is an unique and quaint light source.  I like to think it reflects my bookseller’s taste for detail that spills over into the book choices on his shelves. My photography skills don’t allow me to show how beautiful it is lit (just a glowing blob in the photos) so here is a photo of it unlit to see the detail.

lamp-closeup

Books abound in the shop and there is even have a place below the elevated floor to display more.

cubby-hole-closeup

This project is completed but started another journey of discovery, finding book covers to use to build miniature books to fill the shelves. I have gotten drawn into recreating book covers just for the shear pleasure of it, even though these shelves are full.

As things go with books, there is never a clear stopping point of how many you can have. More about this new exploration in the next post.