My project at work seems to be going from strength to strength. I have a first-rate team working for me and every other week, sales reach an all-time high. Things have come a long way from two years ago, when I worked alone in a vast, empty, open-plan office, wondering if I'd ever be able to make a living out of the strange assortment of books and ephemera that arrived in the warehouse below.
But there is one threat to our growth: we are running out of space. If we can't double our inventory within the next six months, then the project will start to lose momentum and we may have to throw away perfectly good books to make room for the newer titles.
I've no doubt that someone thought that they were doing me a huge favour when they suggested that we move into this abandoned warehouse, only a minute's walk from my current office:
When I first saw this building, I thought I had entered a scene of post-apocalyptic desolation, reminiscent of the Tarkovsky film Stalker. The ground was littered with abandoned objects, giving the impression that its inhabitants had left in a hurry during an emergency:
It didn't get any better inside:
When I reached the top of the stairs, I was greeted by the sight of a dead pigeon:
I was told that the warehouse was "purpose built", but for what? Abducting and torturing political prisoners? The only thing missing was a bare lightbulb.
Back in the air-conditioned comfort of my office, I found these wonderful covers:
It's very rare to find an 80-year-old book with its original dustjacket. I don't know why people didn't hang on to them the way we do today, particularly when the cover design is as appealing as this, but I don't think that dustjackets were regarded as an integral part of the book (please feel free to correct me on this, as I'm only guessing).
I love the font of this prescient book, which was published in 1934.
This title was published in 1969 and the cover design's elegant, modernist simplicity is typical of textbooks from this period. I would have probably made the tree more abstract, as it looks a little incongruous, but I still like the cover.
I also admire the clear, understated design of this cover, published a couple of years after 'The Birth of Modern Ireland'.
But nobody could call this jacket design understated:
This absurb dustjacket design lays itself open to a number of interpretations. Judging by the look of horror on the young man's face, I can only assume that the monkey committed a faux pas when passing the port.
What will happen to book jackets in the age of the Kindle?
I seem to be ranting about the Kindle a lot at the moment and as Martin H so perceptively observed, this may be because I'm "teetering on the edge of Kindledom".