Tuesday, May 26, 2020

BOOKS: Escapist Pleasure

via web

  Books! Wonderful books -how could we live without them ? I have so many associations regarding books -a few which I'd like to share with you.

  My first impression of visiting the Manhattan townhouse apartment of Tom Britt was towering Chinoiserie style bookcases which had been lacquered in an ivory color -they were stacked with hundreds of books which had been wrapped in off white glossy vellum paper.  The spine of each book was labeled with small gilt edged titles hand written in calligraphy.  Imagine all of this combined with huge well organized stacks of vogue magazine as well as architectural digest. Of course Tom had been featured in  AD many times during his career.

 Another one which stands out in my memory is summering in Southampton with my mentor Mr. George Clarkson.  He had a handsome son-in-law who would do nothing all day but lay on the bed and read a book between meals -I thought this was fabulous and I hadn't really seen anybody do that before -instead of drinking cocktails or trying to play cards or tennis he simply read ! I admired him for that.

  Many of the best booksellers have closed - but Amazon seems to be the way to go these days.  My good friend the late Tice Alexander, had a very nice collection of books on art and fashion and design as well as gardens and the room that I slept in was flanked by huge bookcases which we had custom designed and custom made containing this collection.  It was a great pleasure to have these available - and that was in the pre-Internet era... It seems that now perhaps devices are replacing actual bound books- but for diehard bibliophiles the desire will always remain!  DF