Just the cover of DK Books’ Remarkable Books, The World’s Most Beautiful and Historic Works ($39) makes me happy.
The cover is a collection of old book spines, in shades of gold, green and blue, which leaves me wondering how I can display this book so I see it every time I walk in the room.
The inside is just as beautiful and just as awe-inspiring. We get to learn about some of the world’s oldest books – from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, printed on the papyrus plant, a type of reed found in the area, to The Art of War, a military manuscript written on bamboo slips. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Blue Quran are presented both in pictures and information. Some of the books highlighted offer an in detail and visual tour sections, showing close-up details of the book with more information. Each chapter, a period of book history, offers brief information about some of the other books from that time period.
It’s no secret that I love books so a book about books appeals greatly to me. I, however, have not read many of the books that are considered classics and truthfully likely will never read them. However, through Remarkable Books, I get to read and see highlights of the original copies of such books as Dante Alighieri‘s Divine Comedy and Leonardo da Vinci‘s The Codex Leicester. I am awed further by Andreas Versalius‘ Epitome, which set “a new standard for anatomical illustration” and Sebastian Munster‘s Cosmographia, “one of the most popular releases of the 16th century…the first visual guide to the known world to be published in the German language.”
Newer books are featured like L. Frank Baum‘s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (the first edition of the book was colour coded. Chapter 2, titled The Council with the Munchkins, was blue, the creature’s favourite colour) and Beatrix Potter‘s The Tale of Peter Rabbit, which I have always wanted to like, but have never been able to do so (as a side note, the recent movie was quite funny). JK Rowling‘s Harry Potter gets a nod in the directly at the end of the chapter titled 1900 Onward. I feel that is quite the honour to be featured in a book aptly titled Remarkable Books.
A copy of this book was provided by DK Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.