Our local recycling centre takes plastic, paper, glass, tins, clothes…and books. It’s always obvious when someone has deposited a whole bookcase worth at once – stacks of similar titles/books by the same authors suddenly appear. This time there was a heap of lives of the saints. I did find a book I fancy reading – A Thousand Days in Tuscany – described by one reviewer as ‘an object lesson in living fully from a genuine sensualist unabashed by her emotions’, so I’m guessing it didn’t once share shelf-space with the Life of Saint Rita.

Last month Michael found Charley Harper’s Golden Book of BIOLOGY. According to the inscription inside it’s a copy someone won as 1st prize for something in Gonzaga College back in 1964. It has that old book smell and the dust jacket is scruffy, but this is a classic from an extraordinary illustrator. It is considered by many to be:

‘a masterpiece – the quintessential mid-century children’s science text. It is widely seen as (Charley Harper’s) magnum illustratus and has been widely influential to two generations of illustrators and designers. Todd Oldham described it as “…one of my favorite things I’ve ever had in my life,” and the illustrator Jacob Weinstein as “the world’s most attractive textbook.”’

Bray-recycling3One person’s recycling, our idea of real treasure! Link to article/illustrations from the book