Google Zeitgeist 2013

Google sums up the year 2013 in a minute and a half. Bit short but there are some truly remarkable moments in this short clip. Be inspired!

Strangest Shop I’ve Been In

I visited Venice in March this year and my friend who I was travelling with said she wanted to visit this book shop – supposedly the one of the world’s most unique bookshops. In retrospect, it is definitely unique. A bookshop though, I question that part!

This was a hoarders paradise. There were books everywhere, which is good, it being a bookshop and all. But the appearance suggested otherwise. There was some kind of order in evidence, but for the most part, the books were more a form of furniture and appeared to be holding the structure of the building together. They were stacked floor to ceiling, holding up shelves, even being used as a staircase out in the canal-side garden. I didn’t want to touch anything for fear f the whole place falling down on top of me.

This video below (not mine) really does not do it justice as to how cramped and overstocked each shelf is. It is a book lovers dream/nightmare. Books everywhere and yet you dare not touch them for fear of death.

My favourite experience in here though has to go to the first point of contact with staff who offered me 3D glasses to look at a 3D book of naked people. What?! Yes that’s right! Luckily this place had a side door which meant I didn’t have to walk back out past this staff member. It did mean walking past the porn section though where old copies of Playboy were strewn across the floor for sale. Odd place indeed!! Oh yes, and there was a full size gondola inside too filled with books!

The Joy of Books

Cool stop-motion animation showing what goes on at night in bookshops across the land! It’s real isn’t it?!

World Book Day

Here’s a novel way to celebrate books on World Book Day (1st March 2012). Artist, Guy Laramee, carves intricate scenes out of stacked up hardbacks. Not quite celebrating the written word but anything that brings attention to books on World Book Day is a good thing. The level of detail in these works is quite something. I particularly like the mountainous scenes that are reminiscent of Chinese paddy-fields; I just hope they weren’t first editions!!

Inspirational Message of the Day

My mantra for life 🙂

Beauty In Decay

I came across this book last year sometime when it was showcased in one of tabloids here in the UK. It’s Beauty In Decay by Romany WG and it showcases some of his incredible photography around derelict urban environments. Challenging what people believe to be beautiful, Romany WG’s book shows beauty in the unlikeliest of places, from abandoned factory buildings to hauntingly creepy old mental asylums. I’m not sure what I’d classify as beautiful but the images I have seen are intriguing and very illustrative. Urban photography is quite ‘in’ right now (so I’ve been told) and I’m sure these types of images will be re-created by countless artists.

I’ve seen some criticism regarding the use of HDR in work like this, but I think that is just one aspect to the bigger piece. Composition, light and colour are often strikingly beautiful (see attached images below), added to the sense of the places in the photography as being somehow off-limits and We are getting a glimpse into some kind of underground world.

I’m yet to buy the book for a proper nosey, but if any insight is welcome.

Link at Amazon UK

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