Thoroughly Modern Me

Do you take books on vacation?  You know, actual books?  Not a grainy seventy-five percent screen of text on an electronic tablet.  Books.

I do.  This trip I took A Moveable Feast, A Passage to India, The Hunger Games, Scat and a broad collection of  Poppleton.  Also, Metropolitan Home’s Design 100: The Last Word on Modern Interiors.  Normally, I do not take design books on vacation.  I often buy design books on vacation, happy to lug them home, but usually I don’t pack them to go along.

This time I did.  I miss Met Home and its unique, and I think broad, definition of “modern.”  The book is a wonderful collection of some of the highlights of the magazine’s thirty years of coverage.  There are great, large glossy pictures and short bits of copy, a happy balance for the design crazy.  This particular image, above, has stuck in my head for years.  I hunted through a stack of old issues five times to try to find it before giving up.  The work of architects David Lake and Ted Flato, I have thought of it half-a-dozen times since it was published; I am happy to have it in hand again.

Particularly charming is editor Michael Lassell’s introduction; it is the kind of writing that makes you think you might want to hang out with him and have a beer after work.  Which is kind of what he’s doing with the book.  Even if your design library leans a bit traditional, you should find good inspiration here.

Photo, top, photography by Erik Johanson, next, photography by John Ellis and last, photography by Langdon Clay, all images courtesy of Filipacchi Publishing 2010 for Design 100: The Last Word on Modern Interiors.

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17 thoughts on “Thoroughly Modern Me

  1. Friends give me a hard time for preferring a paper book to a ipad or kindle. I prefer the smell, feel, & sound of the turning page. I love to peruse a library and a book store. Technology is a wonderful thing but it will never replace a book in my life.

  2. No shortgage of guilt in book department here. I love real paper. Would love to get hold of this book and peruse with a beer, heh heh.

  3. A tough of modern to any traditional decor is like a breath of fresh air. I am certainly a traditionalist, but I love to find a surprise in every room. Modern pieces tend to give rooms breathing space that traditional often lacks. Like whipped cream, a little goes a long way.

  4. I'll have to check it out! Loved The Hunger Games! My mom ships her design books to the beach every summer (even if we're just going for a week), which drives my dad crazy. She just likes to have them around her at all times, in case she might need to look through them.

  5. Alan! No way. That's the deal – you can pack whatever you want, but everyone has to carry his own bag. Except the youngest. The youngest gets a free pass for everything.

  6. I took actual books last week when I went to the Bahamas but only taking a carry-on I was wishing for a Kindle.

  7. You know, actual books? Not a grainy seventy-five percent screen of text on an electronic tablet. Books.

    Meh–sort of a silly distinction. The thing worth being snooty about is whether someone reads or not, and what.

    If someone reads Portrait of a Lady, I'm going to be impressed. i don't care whether it was on paper, a Kindle, or written in wet sand with a stick.

  8. Doesn't seem that silly to me, but I take your point. And, really, no need to be anon just because you don't agree with me.

  9. I, too, took A Moveable Feast on a recent trip….It's a great read anytime! One of my excursions last summer I had to open and repack my suitcases at check in. One was so overloaded with books, it made the bag far too heavy. There was a $90 overage charge!!

    I have always said I need a 12 step program for book buying. "Hi, my name is Liz and I'm a book-a-holic!"

    Love your blog!


  10. How wonderful to read about books! And such wonderful ones!
    I couldn't agree more!
    I follow your blog and love it
    Thank you
    Jamie Herzlinger

  11. Oh my. Not only do I bring books on vacation, I buy more along the way. New, used, doesn't matter to me, I'm just a reading fiend.

    Although I adore my iPad and use it for any number of activities, I just haven't made the switch to reading on it yet.

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