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Tuesday, 12 April 2022

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I hope this is not inappropriate as a comment here, but just wanted to share a recent discovery of a London-based indie publisher called Hoxton Mini Press. Noticed a few titles in my local Waterstones (equivalent to Barnes & Noble), so even though they're boutique, they seem to be doing quite well. I was particularly blown away by the print quality of a book called "Parklife" (see https://www.hoxtonminipress.com/collections/books/products/pre-order-parklife). Highly recommended to anyone based in the UK.

I did a bit of searching and really like the philosophy of the company, they're going for "an unashamed attempt to make books that draw on the best of the tradition of photobooks: niche, collectable, beautiful, sniffable books – but which don’t alienate the average reader. That means we want quality that is popular – a hard mix to find."

https://loupemag.com/photographers-in-publishing-an-interview-with-martin-usborne/

Well, I started to make a DI list but it's a funny thing: it turned out to be mostly either books I don't own or books of paintings, and I can't be sure of the titles of the ones I don't own and I'm not at all a painter.

So, I very much want to see the lists that others come up with, especially the landscapists. There are lots of holes in my knowledge. I hope you get lots you can post here.

The "books I don't own" conundrum is this. I just finished a career as a librarian and the last 10 years or so were spent in a large central public library that had a very good art and photography collection. I didn't work anywhere near that collection so I didn't have any professional attachment to it; I could just wander up to those stacks on my coffee break and pick things off the shelf. I discovered Mark Ruwedel, Robert Adams, and Charles Harbutt that way, among many others. There was very little "competition" from other borrowers for this collection, amazingly, so I could renew these for weeks at a time, and then go back and get them again months or years later. It was awesome.

The books of painters are because I find lots of inspiration for my landscape and scenic photography from paintings. I own a few books of the painters I admire but also, of course, that same big library had lots of art books I could also borrow. Although there was more competition for the painters than for the photographers, it seemed.

The comments on photobooks are having an impact on me. Just ordered three books of David Plowden's work. Thanks for the push :)

Apropos my previous comment, in which I spoke about only one book...Raghubir Singh's The Ganges...yes, that will be my only book of photographs. But upon re-reading, I see that you had asked a different question...you wanted a mirror that reflects the persona in 10 books. For me the other nine would be: 3 volumes of Feynman's Lectures in Physics, Bertrand Russell's A History of Western Philosophy, Tagore's 'Gitabitan' (a collection of 2,232 songs composed by him), T. S. Eliot's collected poems, War and Peace, Whitehead and Russell's Principia Mathematica, and a copy of the Mahabharata edited in Bengali by Kashiram Das. I suppose few of your readers would connect to some of those in my list, but that's my list.

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