Read Culture

Hardback Offerings for Eager Readers

A round-up for readers of every ilk from our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide

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The Repurposed Library

Give old tomes new life with The Repurposed Library, a guide to DIY book projects that helps you convert worn hardbacks into functional works of art. The tinkerer in your life will love the selection of projects, which range from wall art to kitchen utensil storage.


Scanwiches is a coffee table book born from the eponymous website that documents cross-sections of delicious mayo-laden creations. The classed-up anthology of food porn will satiate even the most severe sandwich fetish.

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My First Dictionary

For the corrupting parent, author Ross Horsley has compiled this disturbing dictionary to educate young minds in grown-up words. Charming illustrations accompany the hilarious and inappropriate definitions for simple words from burden (“old people are burdens”) to nostalgic (“Father is nostalgic. He is remembering happier times before you were born”).

If rocks could Sing

Teach your little one their ABC’s with If Rocks Could Sing, a children’s book illustrated entirely with stones found washed up on the shore. Author Leslie McGuirk scoured the seaside for 24 rocks to elucidate the alphabet in a delightful new way.

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McSweeney’s Book Release Club

From the premiere name in small-batch publishing, the McSweeney’s Book Release Club will keep the gifts rolling in well into 2012. Bookworm yearning for cleverness and irony in their reading will appreciate this subscription, which sends your reader the next ten McSweeney’s publications.


Jean-Baptiste De Panafieu’s beautifully designed and just-updated edition of Evolution features the broadest survey of species and photographs on the subject. Shot on a stark black background, the reference elucidates changes in physical appearance based on sexual selection, adaptation, polymorphism and more.

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Inside the Chelsea Hotel

Photographer Julia Calfee inside look at the famed Chelsea Hotel comes in the form of a photography book that reveals moments from the scandalous to the sincere. This collection captures private and public moments of the Hotel’s residents and guests.

Tintin: The Complete Companion

Tintin, the intrepid international reporter, has been an icon for adventurers and wanderlust aficionados of all ages. Belgian cartoonist Hergé created the boy reporter in 1929 with 23 titles over the next 50 years. This 208-page hardcover compendium by Michael Farr takes the reader through Hergé’s technique and gives social and historical context for Tintin’s colorful adventures from the Soviet Union to South America.