Ladies and gents, may I introduce you to one of my favourite places in the world: Quinto Books on Charing Cross Road. On my last visit I overheard a Spanish tourist say ‘this is the kind of bookshop out of an old spy film where they keep the corpses in the back room’. It definitely has a special charm and while I haven’t been invited to the back room (yet), I can tell you about the basement. Ah, the basement! Hundreds of second hand books from pristine £1 Penguin 1st editions to well loved rare books. They get new stock every Thursday and it’s completely restocked (really!) at the start of each month. I always go straight to the ‘Art of Books’ section where the design, publishing, illustration, typography and calligraphy books await. Definitely recommend a visit!

Some of my latest finds:

1954 Faber&Faber edition of ‘A Handwriting Manual’ by English calligrapher (and designer of Bembo Italic!) Alfred Fairbank:

‘Five Hundred Years of Printing’ by S H. Steinberg 1955 1st Edition on Pelican Books, very very interesting read. They always seem to have a copy of this book in stock (usually the 70s edition):

‘Words & Faces: An intimate chronicle of book and magazine publishing’ (1954) this 1974 edition published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in New York. I thought this would be an interesting historical perspective but found it to be very current actually:

‘Dr Johnson: Some Observations and Judgements upon Life and Letters’ 1948 edition on Zodiac Books. Absolutely beautiful book filled with genius. A quote from it: ‘Books that you may carry to the fire, and hold readily in your hand, are the most useful after all.’ Well said, Dr Johnson.

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