Thursday, February 14, 2013

for the love of books

Who doesn't love books? This is the stack of books I am currently reading. The top book is actually my Nook Color. Have I mentioned how much I love my Nook? I have had it for a couple of years now and simply couldn't be without it. When e-readers first appeared I really didn't think that they were for me. I enjoy holding a book, turning the pages, and the design of the cover and text too much to compromise for an electronic reading device. Yet, I was intrigued  by the concept of being able to have an endless number of books all in one small package. After some research I chose the Nook Color and never looked back. It is now my preferred reading format. Perfect for travel, an illuminated screen so no lamp needed when reading in bed, I can adjust the size and font of the the type to suit my old eyes, plus all of the cool features that work like a tablet with an internet connection.

On my Nook I have several books that I am reading at any given time. Most recently, I read the novel, The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. I enjoy stories that center on artists and the art world and found this one to be very engaging. It is about a contemporary artist who attacks a painting in the National Gallery and the psychiatrist who attempts to help him. The author weaves together past and present to complete the puzzle of the artist's obsession with the painting he tried to destroy and the image of a mysterious woman he repeatedly paints.

As much as I love my Nook there are certain books that I do prefer to read in their original book format. Most reference type books fall into this category. And cookbooks. I just can't see keeping my Nook on the kitchen counter while I follow a recipe. And of course, art books. So next in my stack of books is Crocheting School, a book I have been referencing lately as I attempt a crochet project without a pattern to guide me. I like the clear instructions and illustrations in this book. Under that is a book that I actually got for The Professor but have found myself looking at again and again for watercolor inspiration. Watercolor Secrets by Rachel Rubin Wolf  includes a collection of artists from the Splash watercolor book series along with step-by-step demos sharing their techniques. I enjoy seeing the variety of styles depicted and reading the artists' comments about their methods.

Sarah Simblet's Sketch Book for the Artist is a newer addition to my art book collection. I have gone through it a couple of times just enjoying the images. And now that I have begun to read through the book I really appreciate the format and her friendly writing style. There are a few exercises I intend to try so I will save further discussion about this book until another day. I am impressed with her thorough knowledge of sketching, there is a lot to take in here!

Last in my stack of current reading material is Strokes of Genius 3 also by Rachel Rubin Wolf. It is the drawing counterpart to the Splash watercolor series. It includes drawings from artists that work in a wide range of media and styles. I especially enjoy the quotes from each artist defining what drawing means to them.

In the spirit of life-long learning I have decided to add a page on this blog dedicated to books. It is something I will build slowly and hopefully you will find it of interest. I also have the books mentioned above included with links over on the sidebar. Now, what are your current favorite reads?


Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Ann - I can relate - love books. Received a Kindle this year for Christmas - I certainly enjoy it as well. Like you though I love the real thing -enjoy those art books too and cookbooks. Hope you have a wonderful day.

CrimsonLeaves said...

Intrigued by both the novel you mentioned and Simblet Sketch Book for the Artist! Thanks, Ann!!

Katherine Thomas said...

I'm so glad you posted this... most of us bloggers are similarly minded souls, and books that you like will probably books that I'll like too. I have those Strokes of Genius books, and love them. I'm going to try Swan Thieves on my Nook too!

Krista said...

I haven't been able to bring myself to have an e-reader yet -- too addicted to paper books for tactile reasons, plus writing in them, etc. I do, however, love all kinds of art reference books, especially the Splash and Strokes of Genius series, and of course, I love drooling over cookbooks too! Glad you've found that Nook works for you in some ways, especially for travel.


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