May 19 2011

Book Blog: Sent A Letter

by Sahar Baharloo

As someone who works mostly in print media, I spend a lot of time thinking about the future of books. I am not one of those crotchety print fetishists who believes that the only legitimate way to consume the written word is through traditional, bound books. I read eBooks, I have the Kindle app iBooks app on my iPad, and I know how to format books in ePub. And I am not alone. In fact, today, Amazon’s sales of books for the Kindle surpassed their sales of traditional print books. It is no longer even worth arguing if eBooks and eReaders are sticking around. 

That said, it is such a delight to come across books that could never be adapted for eReaders. This week’s Book Blog is on one of those books: Sent a Letter by Indian photographer and artist Dayanita Singh. Everyone at the AAP office gravitates towards this book. It just begs to be held. You have to grab it and turn it around in your hands just to read the title. 

To get to the content of the book, you open its shell, which has seven accordion booklets inside. Six are named after cities in India and the seventh is named after Singh’s mother, Nony, who is a photographer in her own right. 

The booklets can stretch out wide. 

You can also look at the pages as spreads. I love the size of these images. It feels more intimate than larger, more cumbersome photography and art books.  

A sassy goat and a ceiling from Calcutta

From Nony Singh

Another from Nony Singh.

I have no clue what is going on here, but I do like the mystery of it. From Allahabad.

If you are interested in purchasing this book or others by Singh, check out German publisher Steidl. They specialize in art and photography books. Singh works closely and exclusively with them. 

Book Blog is a weekly showcase of book design from ArtAsiaPacific’s areas of coverage and is written by AAP’s designer, Sahar Baharloo. All images were taken by our photo editor, Alis Atwell. 

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