Good hardcover book to browse in the evening with a glass of wine
August 7, 2021 4:16 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to make my lifestyle slightly less digital. One step of this process has been to substitute reading on the Kindle or doomscrolling on my phone after dinner with a glass of wine and reading a big, hardcover book that's both beautiful and interesting. So far, I've had success with The Monocle Guide to Gentle Living; Alan Flusser's Dressing the Man; Schott's Almanac; and a few old editions of Intelligent Life Magazine. Any other recommendations? I am particularly interested in things that deal with self-improvement, redecorating my apartment - things that will stimulate me to make positive changes in my life!
posted by LingeringMoon to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
You might find Sibley’s What It’s Like to be a Bird interesting.
posted by kevinbelt at 4:38 PM on August 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

Do you know Alain de Botton?
posted by miles1972 at 4:50 PM on August 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I think what would be best is to pair a book with activities that match it so you can have some variety and write a commonplace book out of what you read. Here is an example of my dad's commonplace book.
posted by parmanparman at 4:54 PM on August 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

Atlas Obscura may be of interest!
posted by nathaole at 6:06 PM on August 7, 2021

The Ashley Book of Knots. Plenty good for browsing through, better if you have something to practice knots on. Also, big and beautiful.
posted by clew at 6:46 PM on August 7, 2021

A Sartorialist book?
posted by praemunire at 7:31 PM on August 7, 2021

Best answer: I’ve been doing this with the 99% Invisible book.
posted by third word on a random page at 7:50 PM on August 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

I have a lot of cookbooks I do this with, I love "modernist cuisine at home" "bravetart" "under pressure" "the food lab" particularly for just looking at amazing pictures and maybe a bit of reading here and there - they're all pretty food-science-y, which is interesting, and bravetart in particular has a lot of food-history, which is really interesting just to read! (also that brown butter carrot cake is worth the price of admission)

I'm breaking the hardcover rule because I really love browsing through "Moving towards balance" by rodney yee but it's a big, nicely printed softcover. I don't even really DO yoga, but I find the explanations and the photographs, and the general feeling of the book very appealing to browse.
posted by euphoria066 at 9:36 PM on August 7, 2021

Also came to suggest the 99% book.
posted by Gotanda at 11:15 PM on August 7, 2021

Best answer: Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson
posted by sol at 6:12 AM on August 8, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Redecorating?! Clearly you need À Rebours [1884] by Joris-Karl Huysmans. It's Oscar Wilde on steroids and of course should only be read in the original French, and certainly not in paperback. Do you have a purple silk smoking jacket?Extract from Chapter 2.
At five o'clock in winter, after dusk had closed in, he ate an abstemious breakfast of two boiled eggs, toast and tea; then came dinner at eleven; he used to drink coffee, sometimes tea or wine, during the night, and finally played with a bit of supper about five in the morning, before turning in.
These meals, the details and menu of which were settled once for all at the beginning of each season of the year, he took on a table placed in the middle of a small room communicating with his study by a padded corridor, hermetically closed and allowing neither smell nor sound to penetrate from one to the other of the two apartments it served to connect.
The dining-room in question resembled a ship's cabin with its wooden ceiling of arched beams, its bulkheads and flooring of pitch-pine, its tiny window-opening cut through the woodwork as a porthole is in a vessel's side.
Like those Japanese boxes that fit one inside the other, this room was inserted within a larger one,--the real dining-room as designed by the architect
posted by BobTheScientist at 7:11 AM on August 8, 2021 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you for all the suggestions! @parmanparman, you were MOST unhelpful, because now I desperately want your dad's commonplace book as a hardback to read!
posted by LingeringMoon at 6:20 AM on August 9, 2021

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