Not long ago I was in a lovely little bookshop on the south coast and I stumbled across one of these gorgeous books.
Looking inside I saw a list of other intriguing titles in the same series: weird and wonderful little studies of some of the more obscure and enigmatic elements of art, folklore, history and more. From crop circles to Celtic patterns, mazes to mind tricks – these minute editions instantly seemed to me to be a spark of mystery in a sometimes pedestrian world. I immediately ordered four that particularly caught my interest, but I suspect I will be adding more to the collection before too long. “Symmetry” is about the remarkably ordered patterns we find in nature and how those patterns have subconsciously passed into human art and culture. “Sacred Geometry” explores the concept that certain shapes and proportions have a symbolic value and meaning that influences music, architecture and many other aspects of human design. “Mazes and Labyrinths” I just couldn’t resist (do you know the difference between the two? I didn’t) – it may not sound like the most riveting subject but I was fascinated to read about the different types of design and why they work. Lastly “Islamic Design”, which I picked quite simply because it’s a thing of beauty, explains how the earliest Islamic artists founded the tradition of incorporating Arabic script with ornamental patterns that is so recognisable the world over.
I love an unexpected bookshop find and I’m so chuffed with these. From the diminutive size to the striking cover design, everything about them is appealing. The publisher is Wooden Books; I’d thoroughly recommend looking them up and discovering these miniature gems for yourself.