Interestingly-made books with unusual paper?
November 15, 2012 11:39 AM   Subscribe

What books that are printed with unusual techniques, using unusual paper, do you recommend looking at?

I am interested in unusually-constructed books, especially made from interesting papers, and I would love to either buy or request some from my local library. However, I am having trouble identifying what books are printed in interesting ways. Are there any books that are printed with unusual paper that you recommend looking at? Perhaps the pages contain embossing, the papers are textured, the pages are made from wood or metal, or the book is interesting for some other reason? Any hints would be most welcome.
posted by mortaddams to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Griffin & Sabine is a neat example of one; it is a story of correspondence between two people, with all the letters/envelopes/postcards contained in the book. Haven't read it in a long time, but a very unique book design.
posted by liquado at 11:50 AM on November 15, 2012 [5 favorites]

I don't know if many libraries will have these, but check out Visual Editions -- they sell very tactile books using die cuts and other interesting bookmaking techniques.
posted by cider at 11:54 AM on November 15, 2012

Jonathan Safran Foer's Tree of Codes is a die cut book constructed from another book and it looks extremely cool.

Here's the book trailer.
posted by Flamingo at 11:55 AM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

House of Leaves? Although that is more about unusual structure and content in relation to the narrative, it became a bestseller in part because it was a pioneer in this kind of construction.
posted by PardonMyFrench at 12:01 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

The author of House of Leaves has two other books which fit, Only Revolutions (in which the reader has to turn the book upside-down every 8 pages) and The Fifty Year Sword (which uses odd color schemes).
posted by jbickers at 12:10 PM on November 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

Crispin Glover has put out some interesting books.
posted by mannequito at 12:25 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oooohh, and I forgot about SVK by Warren Ellis, a graphic novel that uses invisible ink and a special device you have to use to read it.
posted by jbickers at 12:26 PM on November 15, 2012

Some librarys have an "art" books section. It would include handmade, rare, or particularly unusual books. You'll prob be asked to put on some cotton gloves and not be allowed to check things out- but I have seen some amazing creations- hand stitched leather pages, books made of clear plastic, lace book covers, books bound with rope, scrolls- it's all amazing.

The last one I went to was in minneapolis (I'm pretty sure it was at the walker's library? Maybe at another museum?) But it's worth looking into if you can find one.

Also check out local printmaker shops and book-making supply stores (sometimes called book arts). They would have some stuff- and they would know where a collection is avalable to the public.
posted by Blisterlips at 12:29 PM on November 15, 2012

Not a rec for a specific book, but Columbia College's Center for Book and Paper Arts is down the street from my office, and their blog often has details on interesting new projects.

I also googled "artist books examples" and got a ton of results with cool stuff. I know the School of the Art Institute here in Chicago has an extensive collection of these in their library; if there is an art school near you, they may have the same.
posted by deliciae at 12:35 PM on November 15, 2012

Cradle to Cradle. "It is printed on a synthetic 'paper,' made from plastic resins and inorganic fillers, designed to look and feel like top quality paper while also being waterproof and rugged. And the book can be easily recycled in localities with systems to collect polypropylene, like that in yogurt containers."
posted by dormouse at 2:36 PM on November 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

William Faulkner originally wanted the Sound and the Fury to be printed in different colors of ink to indicate shifts in the time and perspective of the narrator. His publisher nixed the idea, but the Folio Society printed a limited edition bringing this idea to life a few years ago.
posted by dr. boludo at 6:19 PM on November 15, 2012

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