Emily's Books

Brooklyn TexasComment

Growing up, Emily was a library kid. She spent September afternoons scrambling from elementary school to a building just a few blocks away, trading the sticky, sweltering Houston "fall" (which is really just summer and lasts until December) for the always glacial air conditioner in the local branch of the Harris County Public Library. Collecting armfuls of novels, Emily would stop by the kids section for Roald Dahl and move over to the teen area for Madeleine L'Engle and Lois Lowry, inevitably sneaking in a few classics like The Secret Garden or The Wizard of Oz. She was enchanted by the books' woody smell, dusty and familiar, the corners of pages soft and darkened from years of eager thumbs rifling through pages. Until college, she was more of a book sharer than a buyer, except for a few absolutely necessary purchases, like a stunning copy of Catcher in the Rye spangled with illustrations of flames, and Jane Eyre (she is too embarrassed to disclose the number of copies of Jane Eyre she owns . . . she is like the crazy cat lady of Jane Eyre). The books she's purchased since then have all been particularly special copies of beloved favorites, most recently books with beautiful and unusual design choices. Here are some of Emily's favorite books with great design.

The Picture of Dorian gray

“It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors”


“And before her had time to ask how, Mr. Joseph Sedley, of the East India Company’s service, was actually seated tete-a-tete with a young lady, looking at her with a most killing expression; his arms stretched out before her in an imploring attitude, and his hands bound in a web of green silk, which she was unwinding.”

Anne of Green Gables

“Anne took the dress and looked at it in reverent silence. Oh, how pretty it was--a lovely soft brown gloria with all the gloss of silk; a skirt with dainty frills and shirrings; a waist elaborately pintucked in the most fashionable way, with a little ruffle of filmy lace at the neck. But the sleeves--they were the crowning glory! Long elbow cuffs, and above them two beautiful puffs divided by rows of shirring and bows of brown-silk ribbon.”

The Principles of Uncertainty

“My dream is to walk around the world. A smallish backpack, all essentials neatly in place. A camera. A notebook. A traveling paint set. A hat. Good shoes. A nice pleated (green?) skirt for the occasional seaside hotel afternoon dance.”