About Blooks is a blog devoted to "blooks," objects that look like books but aren't, such as book-shaped handbags, hollow books used to hide valuables, and booze flasks that are disguised as books.
Mindell Dubanksky, a preservation librarian at the Metropolitan Museum of Art who is the proprietor of About Blooks, has a show of her treasures on at the Grolier Club in NYC, which has an accompanying book called "Blooks: The Art of Books That Aren't."
The current display of 130 faux books covers both sculptural and functional blooks. They have been organized into 14 themes, including religious blooks (a maple sugar mold in the shape of a Bible, circa 1820), household blooks (a mid-century book-shaped alarm clock made by Lava Simplex, better know for its lava lamps), and gags (exploding blooks containing paper caps triggered upon opening). The most common use of the form is secret storage – there are book-shaped banks and safes to deposit money or stow secret documents, as well as book-shaped flasks, to hide your habit. One handsome leather-bound blook decorated with gold tooling is really a lady’s compact, concealing powder, rouge and a mirror. Another, titled The Informer, is a motion-detector alarm camouflaged in a maroon cloth-bound book.
And even those are “only the tip of the iceberg in terms of available blooks”, said Dubansky. “It is intended to introduce the subject in the broadest way as far as my collection allows.” What’s missing from the show, she noted, are the bulkier blooks – pieces of fine art in book form, architectural objects, stage sets and furniture. Her collection numbers around 600.
'Blook' madness: inside the world of 'bogus books'
[Rebecca Rego Barry/The Guardian]
Discovering the book as object
Studio North was commissioned to refit an old elevator shaft in a converted warehouse loft in Calgary; they built a tall, narrow library with climbable shelves whose hand- and foot-holds retract into the shelving.
Libretaxi is an open source project that lets anyone become a rideshare driver in less than a minute; it has more than 20,000 users worldwide, and is maintained by Roman Pushkin, who started the project in December 2016 and is now planning to quit his job and work on it full time.
Mister Alphabet is an action-figure designed to cleverly bend and contort into every letter of the Latin alphabet; the website is long on trademark warnings and arty Instagram photos, but short on details, like, “Is this an object of commerce?” and “If so, where does one buy it?” (via Kottke)
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]
The Lightning port has thus far resisted the cruel fate that befell the headphone jack, and despite rumors that it may be disappearing come iPhone 8, for the present and foreseeable future, Lightning cables are a hot commodity for iPhone users. As such, we must make do in this strange time in which long, glorified […]
All the filters in the world won’t save your smartphone pics from a shaky hand. To really step up your mobile photography game, you’ll need some kind of mount to hold it steady. You could buy a smartphone attachment for a conventional camera tripod, but who wants to carry that kind of gear everywhere they […]