In an era before the Internet and Cable Television, people had encyclopedias to learn about things. It’s not even that long ago. I had one in my children’s bedroom. I read in it before going to sleep, and the fun was to discover subjects you never heard about. It was the smell of the paper, and the odd illustrations that made learning this way much sexier than any of today’s online equivalents.
Ben Schott probably had such an encyclopedia in his childhood as well. And started a lifetime obsession which resulted in Scott’s Original Miscellany is a wonderful book. When I saw it and had a look at it, I thought that this was a publication that probably existed since the 17th Century and was a relic of the British Empire. But no, the author is a 21st Century homo universalis. He conceived, wrote and designed it himself. He is also a professional photographer. I would like to meet this Schott. Actually I would like to meet anyone who says that ‘the text is created specially to fit the design’.
More info on the book’s website.