Monday, 9 March 2009

1001 Wonderful Things

one of my favourite books in the world is called 1001 Wonderful Things (Hutchinson). i found it quite a long time ago in a little bookshop in Glasgow (i forget what it's called, the one close to Tchai Ovna, with the cat), for £1.
it's full of a wonderfully random selection of basically everything under and around the sun. from insects, planets, classical art and architecture, caves and all sorts of phenomenae from the natural world, "modern" machines (at least they were at the time of print -unfortunately a couple of pages are missing from the front so i don't know exactly when it was printed - for example, a WOOL-CARDING MACHINE, a CARDIOGRAPH, a GIANT GAS COMPRESSOR, a CO-ORDINATE MEASURING MACHINE, to name but a few), animals, anatomy, imaginary creatures, etc etc.
here is a little excerpt from the introduction:

"Surely, the age we live in must be the most interesting ever known to mankind.
In every field giant strides of discovery and invention have been made. Knowledge of this, that and the other has increased by leaps and bounds -and still we know so little; there is more and more to come.
...
Seeing is believing.
...
In these days of stress and strain, this type of publication should also prove a boon and a blessing for wet Sunday afternoons, when one wants to relax and yet be interested without too much effort."

brilliant.
(if you click on the pictures they'll come up much bigger, so you can read the text and look more closely at the pictures.)

3 comments:

Nadjana said...

Myrra asked about the book earlier this evening, and then explained that she LOVES books and reading (much thanks to The Book).
...the rest of the comment disappeared and will forever be lost in the void.
How The Book talks about modernity and knowledge sounds really contemporary, except for the language. :)
Learning should be easy, fast and fun. The present may be closer to the past than we want to admit. gonatt.

Anonymous said...

I remember you buying that book! A well invested pound, it turns out:)

Leila said...

oh what a nice book!!