Sunday, May 31, 2009

Photobooks worth keeping

How do you know what photobooks to keep and which ones to take down to your local used book shop? I have been thinking about this as my bookshelves have lost space to add anymore. I know, many of you are thinking, just add more bookshelves. Yes, that is doable, and most likely I will do that. But it did start me thinking.

It is not easy to pull a book off the shelf and decide that there is no value anymore (to me). Why did I buy it in the first place? It must of meant something at the time. Someone put time and energy into creating the book. I have always been a believer in the passion that is behind every work of art, including photobooks. At the time that I acquired the book, there where very good reasons for making this decision. This train of thought has lead me to the inevitable list, "top 10 reason to buy or keep a photobook."

The top ten reasons to buy (or keep) a book:

10. It was a good buy or its a first edition.
9. It will increase in value over time.
8. It is rare and not many copies are left in circulation.
7. It appears on some list of top 100 important photography books.
6. It is included in The Book of 101 Books edited by Andrew Roth.
5. It is included in either volumes I or II of The Photobook: A History by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger.
4. It is a perfect specimen of a photobook and comprises all that is key to a great book; wonderful photos, sequenced with intelligence, and is beautifully printed.
3. You learn something new or gain new insights about life and art every time you look it.
2. You are the author/creator of the book.
1. You truly love this book.

Feel free to create your own top ten reasons for keeping a book.

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