Monday, May 10, 2010

I Bought a Book

Time Life Books. Photograph by Tim IrvingThe older I get the less I want!
I'm an avid reader but I prefer to dispose of books once I read them. There are a few books that
I keep which continue to give me pleasure and the Time Life series of photography books are some of them. I bought my first Time Life book, mail order from a newpaper ad in the early 1970's, I think they were £10 each, which was expensive at the time. I signed up to receive the full set of 12 books, but I must have cancelled because I only received the first one, "The Camera".

Yesterday (40 years later), in a bookshop in Wales, I was thrilled to find "The Art Of Photography" from the same series. It cost me £2, a saving of £8 on the 1970's price and powerful proof that all good things come to those who wait. In truth I could have bought this book anytime had I wanted to, in fact you can buy the full set of 12 from Ebay for less than £10, but I prefer to hunt them out on my travels, and collect them individually, it's a slow way of doing things but it's part of a chain of events that started over 40 years ago.

These books are so cheap and plentiful that I'm tempted to say "just buy one and check it out", but I won't. For me the Time Life books are the finest series of photo books ever published. The quality of printing could be better, but for the price of a cup of coffee they have given me access to the most amazing photographs ever made and inspired me to be a photographer.

I'm still excited by my new book. I had a quick flick through it last night and like the other books in the series it contains a wealth of brilliant images that still knock my socks off, like the one below by Diane Arbus. So much more stimulating than a photography magazine.......

Photograph by Diane Arbus


  1. I came across a few of those at a Goodwill outlet some months back. I came very close to buying a couple (at $2 a piece), and should have, but didn't.

  2. Many of us who are "of a certain age" have a Time Life Books memory, don't we. Enjoy your treasure hunt and digging back into the roots of inspiration.

  3. Good Luck with your new blog. I am sure it will be as good as the other one..



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