The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

February 10, 2017
by Dan
0 comments

Bibliomania

At The Guardian, Lorraine Berry looks into the curious history of compulsive book buying: In the 19th century, book collecting became common among gentlemen, mostly in Britain, and grew into an obsession that one of its participants called “bibliomania”. Thomas Frognall … Continue reading

July 16, 2013
by Dan
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The Photo Man

Mark Kologi collects  found photos. In this weirdly fascinating short film he discusses buying and selling the personal pictures of complete strangers: (Does he remind anyone of Steve Buscemi? Is that just me?)

November 9, 2012
by Dan
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Retromedia

Digital formats are really convenient, but they are easily forgotten as well. If you ask anyone what was their first vinyl they bought they’ll probably remember that, but I don’t think a lot of people will remember what was their … Continue reading

July 11, 2012
by Dan
2 Comments

Midweek Miscellany

Literary prints by Evan Robertson, AKA Obvious State. Chairman of the Bored — Bruce Handy on collecting boring books: My hobby has two rules: I buy books only on the street. (Uniquely boring books must present themselves willingly; you can’t … Continue reading

June 29, 2012
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

Commercial Indifference — Geoff Dyer’s Zona reviewed at the LA Review of Books: [Dyer] followed a book of eccentric travel writing with a book on photography, and then in 2009 served up a couple of loosely-linked novellas under the, let’s face … Continue reading

March 13, 2012
by Dan
3 Comments

Q & A with Richard Weston, Ace Jet 170

I don’t know exactly when I first discovered Ace Jet 170. It was a few years ago — at least four because I was reading it before I started The Casual Optimist. And it must have been recommended by someone … Continue reading

July 12, 2011
by Dan
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There’s No Place Like Here

Here’s a wonderful Etsy video about Brazenhead Books, a secret secondhand bookstore located in Michael Seidenberg’s apartment on the Upper East Side, New York: (Thanks Kate!)

April 21, 2011
by Dan
0 comments

Something for the Weekend

Visual Vocabulary — An interesting interview with book designer Peter Mendelsund at Czech Position: I definitely take into account the author’s native culture, though whether I choose to adopt something stylistic from this culture depends on the vagaries of the … Continue reading

September 20, 2010
by Dan
1 Comment

This Must Be the Place

BYUN is the first film in a series called This Must Be the Place by Lost & Found. The series explores the idea of home — what makes them, how they represent us, and why we need them.  I can’t … Continue reading

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