Speaking of books, I recently stumbled upon (without the help of StumbleUpon) the work of a British artist named Philip Smith who works exclusively in the bindings of books. As you know, a book is really just a stack of loosely connected papers until someone or some machine comes along and binds them all together. Usually a books binding is utilitarian at best, and shoddy at worst. Hard bound books are nice, if expensive, and then you have your mass market paperbacks which fall apart after 5 years because of cheap paper and cheaper glue.

Then you have artists like Mr. Smith here who not only return the craft of bookbinding to the highly-skilled artisanal place it held for centuries but add a surprising new dimension to it.

Here are a few favorites of mine from his site. See if you can guess which book each of these is. I promise there’s nothing esoteric here; these books can be found anywhere. Except maybe on Mars. For now.

Cool, right? I would LOVE to have one of these in my house on display. Talk about amazing art that would fit right in with my weirdo collection of things I like.

Head on over to the site to see if your guesses were correct. They’re all in the galleries.