The Book Beautiful: A Memoir of Collecting Rare and Fine Books
Until 2015, Pradeep Sebastian was a contented bibliophile, quite far from the serious book collector anxiously checking his email alerts. Things, however, took a dramatic turn when he chanced upon fine press books – printed on a handpress, from metal type pressed into dampened handmade paper, the tactility and typographic beauty of letterpress books instantly captivated him. There was no looking back.
In absorbing prose, the author retraces his fulfilling journey of collecting fine books online, his new-found love for modern calligraphic and illuminated manuscripts, and his discovery of the masters of bookmaking – be it the cloistered nuns who printed impeccable fine press books, or the famous printer who lived in a one-room apartment at a YMCA with his small handpress tucked under his bed.
Peppered with vivid anecdotes and delightful conversations, The Book Beautiful is as much about the love for fine books as it is about the pleasures of bibliophily – the camaraderie between fellow collectors and dealers, bibliographic connoisseurship, the thrill of the chase, and the joy of striking a juicy bargain.