The Calligraphic Library – books I return to time and again

The books in my library are more than acquisitions – they are my working companions.   My library is filled with poetry and literature, reference books (dictionaries and encyclopedias), and books on lettering and bookbinding.  We reread books to find information missed in the first reading.  By returning to my books I hope to be re-informed and attain a deeper understanding of what I already practice.  Like listening to music over and over again, I revisit books to be re-inspired by familiar stories and illustrations.  And sometimes, it is just the familiarity of the size and shape and weight of a particular book in my hand that I am seeking.  There is great discovery in re-reading. Here are a few photos of my library.

  Shelves hold books of poetry and prose and reference books on bookbinding, craft, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a selection of cookbooks.




Reference books on art and mathematics and calligraphy and design.

Below a portfolio of Edward Johnston’s: Manuscript and Inscription Letters Portfolio for Schools and Classes and for the use of Craftsmen.

Thank you for reading this blog.  I wish you a new year filled with discovery, Nancy Leavitt

Nancy’s website:

Nancy’s bookdealer:


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3 Responses to The Calligraphic Library – books I return to time and again

  1. Happy New Year, Nan! I, too, go back again and again to my books and always find something new to read, re-read, and learn. I love hearing (and seeing) your library. To have books is to have the world.

  2. Jane Brenner says:

    Hello Nan,

    I spied your copy of Adrian Wilson’s The Design of Books which holds special memories for me (I have it also). I knew Adrian when I was a painter in San Francisco, learning graphic design at a publishing company. He sometimes came in the office as he did consulting, and I rejoiced when he got a MacArthur grant. The work coming out of his studio on Tuscany Alley made a big impression on me and many others. He was a giant among us.

    Jane Brenner

  3. velma says:

    i just sorted through my book case of artists’ books with joy, and there are also my working books that aren’t behind glass doors that i love so much, with their used pages, sometimes soiled a bit (i love the garden soil fingerprints on my a weaver’s garden).

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