Porn for Book Nerds




Today I held two original 1891 Kelmscott Press books in my hand, they were vellum bound with gold blocking, a yapp binding with faded blue (I should imagine they once were) tie-ups. Uncut hand-made deckle-edged paper, with the Kelmscott Press colophon printed in a font designed by William Morris. I was sparkly-eyed all evening.
Later I checked them out on the internet, only to discover they were selling for £6000 on Amazon.

Porn for Book Nerds

In the Rare & Restricted books Reading Room of the British Library this evening I was handed a 123 year old book that touched a part of me that I’d almost forgotten existed

The tomes Yapp binding In naked vellum
Curved its pale flaps around thick sections
Of handmade deckle-edge paper.
The Kelmscott colophon laid across it,
A Morris font is entwined around
With curling, twirling botanic forms
Of erotic intensity.

Or so it seemed  to me
You see I’ve only ever seen one before
In a glass-display cabinet in a museum.
And now to hold one in my  hands
Is a strange, tangible, physical pleasure,
The  erotic thrill at an inanimate object,
The sexualization of the insensate.

printers-mark kelmscott Herrick Binding kelmscott page morris kelmscott

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