This is the first English book my dad read to me in Czechoslovakia, trying to expose me to the English language, he tells me. Regrettably I don't remember, since I was only five at the time. But it probably explains why I later enjoyed the Caedmon recordings, featuring Joan Greenwood (as Alice) and Stanley Holloway (as narrator), to the point that I could recite long passages from memory in my early teens. This book is best in the edition accompanied by John Tenniel's illustrations—I remember poring over the details when I was learning to draw.
I was drawn in to read this book by the illustrations, which are works of art in their own right. What were these mysterious juxtapositions of objects? Was this perhaps a tutorial on staging a house or composing a still life? Not really, you have to read it to understand these fully formal relationships.
All instructional books should be written this way. Spare me the tedious examples explaining how to do things that I don't want to do. Instead, give me concise definitions, sorted and indexed, so I can quickly look up how to do what I want.
A reminder that we know so little about the inner workings of our natural world. Hence, the unintended consequences of dissecting, extracting, and denaturing our food. Metaphorically, it’s an impetus for putting things back into context.
A traditional overview of typeface classifications, and how letterform details differentiate specific typefaces into different classes. When I first picked it up in 1984, I used it as an index for further research. Today, it serves me as a reference and reminder of what the typeface landscape looked like just before the personal computer era started.
One of the first books I read about design when I began my studies, it opened my eyes to the role that typefaces, and their design and implementation, play in communication. The answers may have less longevity than the questions the book poses.