Bookshelf

Every week we invite someone from the creative industries to share a rundown of their five favourite books in the whole ruddy world, which have inspired, excited or educated them.

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    This week’s beautiful bookshelf selection comes from Jasmine Raznahan, editor-in-chief and creative director of Noon magazine, a stunning new publication which we wrote about a little while back and whose spellbinding pages have held our concentration through many lunch breaks. Jasmine’s brilliant bookshelf contains all sorts of beautifully bound publications, including a lovely looking book about an old lady and her cat, and a very striking study of geometric shapes. Jasmine is also the Director of ARPA, and her impeccable graphic designer’s eye certainly shines through in her choices. Here she on some of her absolute favourite books…

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    People who champion the smaller, artier, cuter, brighter, funnier publications there are flopping around all over the world are our kinds of people. Katja Chernova is one of those, so who better to ask to recommend us some publications for our weekly Bookshelf feature? Katja is the founder of Ti Pi Tin, a small but powerful art book shop in London’s weird cousin, Dalston. Ti Pi Tin stocks small publications, zines, and basically anything printed and bound and sometimes unnecessary that you inexplicably just really, really want to own. Here she is on her personal top five reads…

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    If you’ve been dying to know which publications inspire a fashion photographer as prolific as Matthew Donaldson then your prayers have been answered. He’s very kindly told us about five books from his rather beautiful shelves that have informed his work over the years. And what work! Matthew’s photographed for the likes of luxurious big dogs Vogue, Wallpaper*, W and GQ and has also shot slick and witty advertising campaigns for many clients including Sony, Harvey Nichols, Skoda, Coca Cola, Louis Vuitton, Harrods, Missoni, Kvadrat and Marks and Spencer. Ever wonder what a man like Matthew carries around in his blazer pocket? Read on to find out…

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    I knew the Bookshelf of Present & Correct would be beautiful, but I was in no way prepared for this. Each of Neal’s books makes me so jealous that I’m working out a way to break into his house and raid his shelves for more beauties. From rare Ken Garland books to old publications dedicated to stitching typography, Neal’s got it all, and it’s beautifully photographed too. Wait a minute, who exactly is Neal? He told us in his own words.

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    Despite sharing his surname with one of literature’s most dastardly characters, Paul is actually a really nice guy. He’s a well-known, London-based artist and illustrator and is also the creative director of Human After All and the former creative director of Little White Lies magazine. So yeah, pretty talented really. He’s given us a very, very concise peek into his bookshelf today and my oh my does he have some gems! A book of Chinese apothecary packaging design? Yes please.

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    Never before have we had someone on the Bookshelf feature who has admitted to stealing a book because it was so engrossing. Okay so it was accidental theft, but it still counts, right? Today we have brilliant Canadian director Jonathan Van Tulleken whose directorial work includes that of Misfits and Top Boy. He was keen to show us his books, and you can totally see why – he bloody loves them! If you’re not logged on to Amazon by the end of reading this article, I’ll eat my hat. Take it away Jonathan.

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    Carol Montpart is a Spanish graphic designer working from the Fraser Muggeridge studio in London. For five years she specialised in printing and publishing at Folch Studio, before moving to London to work for the Frieze Art Fair and on the redesign of ArtReview magazine, as well as starting The Plant with two colleagues. And with a CV like that, she’s something of a safe bet for having a stunning collection of tomes on her bookshelf.

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    Sarah’s the first Bookshelf contributor (to my knowledge) that has used the phrase “yum” when describing a publication. And why not when the book is as lovely as the tomes Sarah has picked from her evidently weighty shelves? Only last week we were gushing about how spectacular she is at drawing but we just couldn’t resist peeking into her bookcase. What did we find? A bunch of beautiful short stories and some truly delightful art books, naturally. Here she is…

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    A very beautifully put-together Bookshelf this week from Duncan Campbell, a writer and creative director know predominantly for his work with the Acne Paper. After spending a few years helping brands such as Bulgari, Hermès, Penfolds, Rizzoli and Veuve Clicquot look better, he has now the creative director and co-founder of Campbell-Rey – a new agency “specialising in cultural and visual storytelling for lifestyle and heritage brands.” You might guess that Duncan has a pretty stylish bookshelf, and you’d be absolutely right. It’s visibly creaking with weighty, beautiful and intelligent tomes, which makes it even kinder of Duncan to take time to pick his top five for us today. Here he is…

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    What a treat we have in store for you this week in the form of Chris Haughton’s weighty bookshelf. Chris is a designer and children’s book illustrator who has been creating friendly, funny publications for little nippers for the last 12 years. Looking for a book that’ll make your child fall asleep (in a good way) at night? Then look no further than his books A Bit Lost and Oh No George! which are as beautifully illustrated as they are written. He’s kindly told us a little about which of the children’s books that dominate his shelves today please and inspire him on the regular. Take it away, Chris!

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    Not to build 6 Decades up too much, but I came across it when I was researching “the best bookshops in the world.” Based in New York, this little building houses some of the most fascinating artistic tomes to grace the planet. Jeremy Sanders, the shop’s curator, says that “6 Decades is dedicated to artists’ books, the history of the book as an artistic medium, and to documenting the essential role these books have played in the development of contemporary art.” Here he is after choosing just five books from the whole shop, something which you can imagine was incredibly difficult. If you’re in the area, check out their site for updates on fun, book-related events they hold on the premises.

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    There’s nothing better than having a nosey around someone’s bookshelf as it tells you such an enormous amount about them. In the case of a creative studio, the contents of the bookshelf are a direct inspiration to conversation around the work and the finished results. Popular UK is a multidisciplinary studio whose work offers fresh solutions to clients in the music, fashion retail and publishing sectors. For me, their bookshelf holds the stuff of dreams, which seems to translate directly to their very interesting portfolio.

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    Good books deserve to be well-photographed, and there’s no one better to do this job than small publication fanatic Claire Cottrell. As well as being a photographer, film director, creative director, and editor, Claire is also the Los Angeles editor of Berlin-based Freunde von Freunden and founder of LA’s best art book shop, Book Stand. The shop specialises in “unique art books, independently published magazines, films and vintage publications,” things that Claire absolutely lives for.

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    Sometimes animators are a mysterious little sector of the creative world, no one seems to really understand how they weave the magic that they do, and so it remains rather a wonderful mystery. The Animated Review are a bunch of animation-fiends who have set out to spread the word and curate the best animation from all over the world on their site and in a very nice little printed publication. Want to know which books inspire some moving image and cartoon fanatics? Onwards, dear reader…

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    Hayden Woolley’s pastime is our obsession. As well as being an English teacher and a writer for Drowned in Sound, Hayden moonlights as becoming a pre-teen boy from the 90s. His Twitter feed TweetsFrom98 is an all too familiar glance back into the nylon angst of the mid to late 90s. References to The Animals of Farthing Wood, walkmen batteries, hair curtains and The Big Breakfast are rife, so much so that we’re willing to say it’s the best thing on Twitter. If you haven’t had the pleasure I suggest you have a look immediately, then check out the exceptional selection of books he’s kindly chosen for us from his shelf below.

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    You should never judge a book by its cover, and equally you should never judge a man by his bookshelf. WRONG! You can totally do both, I do it all the time. In the case of wonderful illustrator Bjorn Rune Lie, one look at his creaking bookshelf held in pride of place over his computer, tells you all you need to know. A closer peek into the actual contents of these shelves reveals oodles about the artist’s value of research, his love for fine draughtsmanship and his passion for the designs in nature. Take it away Bjorn…

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    Just one look at the books this Spanish design duo have picked and you know they mean business. Their choice of exhibition catalogues and functional typographic bibles reveal a lot about how Córdova – Canillas work. They themselves declare that their studio’s approach is “defined by a collaborative network that allows them to integrate graphic design, art direction, photography, communication and strategy to develop projects for commercial and institutional clients focused in contemporary culture.” Wowzah! Read on to get very inspired, very quickly.

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    Coralie Bickford-Smith’s designs for clothbound classics are responsible for putting legendary literature back into the paws of the British public, luring them in with beautiful design that anyone would want in pride of place on their bookshelves. From foil-blocked editions of F.Scott Fitzgerald to illustrative, patterned sets of Dickens, every novel Coralie redesigns turns into something extraordinarily pick up-able. This is precisely why we let her get away with picking six books for us rather than five – it’s such a treat to see which tomes directly inspire the work she does today. Here she is…

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    What better person to pick their top five books than Elinor Jansz? She’s half the brains behind Four Corners Books who have reproduced some of the most beautifully made publications of the last decade. Four Corners are responsible for publishing such treasures as an impeccably designed, over-sized copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray and a candy pink copy of Vanity fair illustrated by Donald Urqhart among many, many others. Go over to their site and plan all the birthday presents you need to buy, ever. Before that, though, have a look at Elinor’s favourite books, she’s picked some absolute corkers.

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    The It’s Nice That Bookshelf is widely regarded to be the best feature on any website in the history of the internet. I like to think of it as a cheerful consolation prize for people that aren’t famous enough to go on Desert Island Discs yet. Here we look back at five of the most interesting shelves we’ve had this year. Get your pens out, you’re going to want to write some of these down.

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    Who better than to give us a well-curated selection of some of the finest books around than KARMA books, one of New York’s most well-respected art bookstores. Founded by Brendan Dugan of An Art Service this little Aladdin’s cave of knowledge and aesthetic fudge collates some of the most difficult-to-find books in the world and publishes those that must exist. Their selection is, unsurprisingly, informative and beautiful in equal measure. Check out their site to get your hands on some of these publications for yourself.

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    Oh my Goodness what a treat! A bookshelf from friendly and fun artist Misaki Kawai. Misaki has been making us go warm and fuzzy and feel silly for years with her utterly unique paintings, illustrations and designs. As well as designing some of the most loveable characters ever created by an artist, Misaki is also responsible for making some of the best and most inventive merchandise you can imagine. Unsurprisingly her five most inspirational books are a cosmic medley of some of the strangest tomes I’ve ever seen, accompanied by some of the most hilarious captions we’ve ever been sent. Enjoy!

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    When we look back in years to come we’ll all slap our hands to our foreheads and realise that in his crass, Beano-ish drawings Kyle Platts was actually the Pied Piper of an enormous movement in illustration. His meticulous, often hilarious work spills out of his head, past his eyes, and on to the page at such an alarming rate that it’s genuinely hard to keep up. So what books inspire a man who is fast becoming one of the most well-known illustrators in London? Read on to find out.

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    We have Sonya Dyakova to thank for some of the most pleasurable, well-designed books and magazines (including frieze) that have graced our site in the last few years. Her work is feminine without being cliched – it’s strong and humble, always allowing the work of the artists that adorn the pages she designs to shine brightly while she takes a demure step back. Unsurprisingly her bookshelf is packed with a concise selection of intelligent, classical tomes that suggest her true love for art in all of its forms. Here she is…

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    Patrick tried to pick some novels to show us, but it didn’t last long. His enormous bookshelf is made up of nearly 100% zines, comics and reference books and he’s not ashamed. But then again why would be be with a collection as magnificent as this? The best thing about this selection is the undeniable fact that Patrick’s collection of publications is a clear nod to his wonderful, weird illustration – just how we like it. Here he is…

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    Tom is the creative director of Drawn and Quarterly, and as someone who provides the world with some of the spectacular graphic novels and comics you can only imagine what a treasure trove his bookshelf is. From typographic books found in thrift stores that he has “borrowed” lettering from, to a Sears catalogue from the 60s, Tom shows us which books have inspired him along the way. CHALLENGE: See if you can get to the end without eBay-searching at least one of these books.

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    Director and animator Abbie Stephens came to our attention when she directed a spectacularly psychedelic, glam rock-inspired music video for the latest Temples single. She’s also made animations for Primal Scream and some spectacular short, personal films. Trained in design, Abbie has an eye for what looks just right, which perhaps is part of the reason why she’s been able to take some of the coolest photos of her book collection we’ve ever seen on this feature. Without further ado, here she is…

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    What an honour it is to have friendly illustration whizz Matt The Horse do a Bookshelf for us. He was so keen to perform the task that he did a tour of Leeds to all the best bookshops to find his favourite tomes as his are all locked away. I’ll let him explain: “I’ve don’t have many books in my life right now. They’re in my Grandad’s garage near Preston. I just moved into my friends basement so had to audit my belongings. Some precious books came with me, but most are in garage limbo until I get some more space. As a result, I’ve pieced together my selection by visiting the bookshops and shelves of Leeds. I miss my books. Thanks Leeds.”

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    Illustrator and graphic design student Jan Buchczik has been one of our favourites since we stumbled across his work a couple a months ago, so it only made sense for us to pick his brains and find out what his five most inspirational books are. Read on to discover why Spiegelman’s Maus means so much to him, which old cassette tape he loved the most as a child and why he can’t quite bring himself to throw his Warhammer collection away.

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    There are plenty of New York-based creatives whose bookshelves we long to have a nosy around – digging out their gems, admiring their knick-knacks and generally basking in the well thumbed pages of their favourite tomes – and Tim Lahan, one of the busiest chaps in illustration is certainly one of them. It’s a good job that we have a feature whose sole purpose is to allow us to do just that then, isn’t it? Hurrah!

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    We love illustrator Lewis Stringer because he’s unashamedly LOVES fast food. Lewis loves food so much that nearly all of his work is inspired by it, but it’s not really boring food like porridge or potatoes, it’s fun, exciting, greasy food like burgers, hotdogs, pineapples pizzas and steaks. So what does such an artist hold on his shelves apart from Mcdonald’s toys and singing Coke cans? We’re about to find out.

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    This is the bookshelf of the editor of my favourite fashion magazine Oyster Magazine. Zac Bayly has sent us his top five most inspirational tomes all the way from Australia! Oh, the beauty of the internet. As well as editing the good ship Oyster, Zac has written for other fashion powerhouses such as Dazed & Confused, Candy, Wonderland_, Love, and has even interviewed the likes of Thom Yorke – yikes! And he’s only 24 years old! Let’s see which books have inpspired him along the way…

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    What a treat this is! A totally sci-fi themed selection from artist Fergus Purcell. Fergus (or Fergadelic if you’re going by his revealing pseudonym) has carved quite a name for himself in the underground art scene, with his trippy illustrations and designs for Palace Skateboards. Fergus loves the weird, the wild and the wonky, as you can see from his clothing label Aries and his absolutely spectacular collection of rare sci-fi reads. Without further ado, here he is…

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    Seetal has come a long way since being an exceptional Central Saint Martins grad. She now runs her very own studio which does everything from styling to screenprinting workshops, from menswear design to creative direction. What they really specialise in however is textile design – and what textile designs! Seetal has a serious talent when it comes to designing some of the most beautiful, well-informed repeat pattern you may ever have come across. No wonder she’s got the entire fashion world queueing up to collaborate with her. Her bookshelf is, unsurprisingly, injected with fashion, style and a big ol’ dose of craft. Enjoy!

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    We featured photographer Stuart on the site a few weeks back when he brought out Pig’s Disco, a book of photographs depicting British army soldiers going to raves in the late 1980s. His work often covers the gritty subjects that are more often than not swept under the heavy carpet of time, which is all the more interesting when you see his top five selection. Expect Diane Arbus, Hunter S Thompson and Henri Cartier Bresson in this fascinating collection of documentary-photography publications – a must-read for any budding photographer.

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    SUCH a good Bookshelf from illustrator Ben Newman here on this wonderful Tuesday afternoon. If you know Ben’s work, you’ll immediately understand how this truly beautiful collection of books has inspired his unique visual approach to illustration. Slightly retro and meticulously skilful in the printing department, I often think Ben could have time-travelled to earth in a 1960s spaceship to bless us with his creations. Did that make sense? I hope so. Here he is.

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    Like figure skating and expert-level baking, set design and prop styling is one of those crafts that looks mega easy but is most certainly not. Sarah McNabb used to put lovely objects in wonderful positions at Wallpaper* and is now with her skills honed, she is embarking on a freelance career doing what she does best. Her work is angular, vibrant and incredibly stylish, but always with a pinch of fun thrown in for good measure. Let’s see which books have inspired her through her career so far…

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    Will Robson-Scott has broken the rule of Bookshelf and chosen seven books instead of five, but we let him get away with it because his selections and write-ups are so interesting. Will is a freelance photographer and has worked for the likes of Vice, The Independent, Dazed Digital and many more. Fearless, and with a gritty, grimy edge to them, Will’s collections of images will have you transfixed. Before you spend a good chunk of time on his site, have a read of the delights of his book shelf to get you in the mood.

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    If you check out Jiro’s London flat on this recent edition of The Selby, you’ll see kitsch objects, weird art, ethnic rugs and enviable clutter EVERYwhere. One look at this floor-to-ceiling mass of artistic and hilarious memorabilia was enough that we presumed a very meaty bookshelf. We weren’t wrong. Jiro’s selection is full of rare and exciting tomes that he’s picked up throughout his life. Aside from the way he’s photographed his books – which could be one of the best examples ever, perhaps save Jaimie Warren – what we love about Jiro’s selection is his insightful description for each one.

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    You don’t often get a personal look into the brains behind a famous online publication, but this is your lucky day. First a royal baby, and now this! Cool Hunting is a blog that’s pretty dominant in the art and design world. They seem to cover pretty much everything that’s cool, be it bikes, shops, design, illustration, art, films, food, booze…I could go on. So what better people to ask to recommend us some ultra-cool books than the people that make the website happen?! Picking one publication each (well, in Evan’s case, two) to tell you about, here are the Kings of Recommendation, The Content Excavators, the Cool Hunting staff…