Fully Booked: Ink on Paper is a new hardback from Gestalten that celebrates all the amazing features unique to print media.

This massive Sixtina MMXII features 224 super closeups of Raphael’s Sistine Chapel--check out the hands for scale.

Five chapters each celebrate a different element of the medium: from the incredible cover art of The Storyteller; to the myriad forms featured in The Showmaster; to beautiful learning guides of The Teacher; to the engaging-against-all-odds reports featured in The Businessman; to the archival possessions of The Collector.

Guy Laramée carves incredibly thick tomes into intricate sculptures.

Learning can be fun!

Create Your Own Version of Happiness by Artworklove, published in 2011 by Krug.

Goalkeeper Forever by 3 Group, commissioned by Galeria Piekary in 2009.

Goalkeeper Forever by 3 Group, commissioned by Galeria Piekary in 2009.

A view of all the physical objects on display at the exhibition.

A view of the Fully Booked: Ink On Paper exhibition in Berlin.

"The Woman Destroyed," "Adieux," and "A Very Easy Death," covers by Peter Mendelsund, Pantheon Books, 2012.

It’s impossible to look at these fantastic covers by Peter Mendelsund for "The Complete Works of Franz Kafka," Pantheon Books, 2012, and not want to collect 'em all. So good.

"The Restoration of a Wall — A Case Study," Isabelle Vaverka, Dutch Art Institute, 2010.

The feeling of a stack of bound paper in the hand is something you just don’t get with digital. "Deutscher Pavillon 2011," Double Standards, Kiepenheuer & Witsch / Sternberg Press, 2011.

Daniel Eatock’s Self Initiated shelf from 2010 was part of the corresponding exhibition.

The beautifully hued "Clothbound Classics Series 3" by Coralie Bickford-Smith, Penguin, 2010 – 2011, would look fantastic all lined up on a shelf at home.

Half the fun of reading books is judging them by their covers. Here’s "Sherlock Holmes," Coralie Bickford-Smith, Penguin, 2008.


A Book That Celebrates The Tactile Thrills Of Print

Fully Booked extols print media’s tactile, artsy strengths: intricate folds, pop-ups, embossing, and bindings.

"Let me state this for the record: the Internet is not dead. Digital will not disappear. Print will not kill the web." These statements are laid out in bold red, right on the white cover of Fully Booked: Ink on Paper, a new hardback from Gestalten, and it’s such a familiar trope that it takes a moment to register the clever turnaround. The rest of the essay, which extends for pages into the interior, further imagines a world in which an emerging print media model threatens a long-standing digital world with new concepts such as linear narratives and the gift of space, smell, and tactility. It’s a nice setup for a publication promoting the uniquely physical experience of tangible publications.

Each of Fully Booked’s five chapters celebrates a different role of the medium: the incredible cover art of "the storyteller," the myriad forms featured in "the showmaster," the beautiful learning guides of "the teacher," the engaging-against-all-odds reports featured in "the businessman," and the archival possessions of "the collector." From front to back, the book is a trove of intricate folds, playful pop-ups, bindings, embossings, and effects that just don’t come through on a screen. There are keepsake posters and a collection of recipes etched into sheets of pasta. Interactivity of the sort you just can’t get online.

An exhibition accompanied the release of the tome, in Berlin, with many of the featured projects on display. If you couldn’t make the trek, or if you haven’t had a chance to score your own copy of Fully Booked, click through this web-based slide show to get a glimpse. There’s a moral in here of course: Each type of media can and should be viewed as a genuine boon to the last. A new platform is not a death knell for the previous one. As the book’s opening essay concludes: "These are clearly complementary functions of existence … Indeed, it might be said that we are entering a new golden age of reading in all its forms."

Buy Fully Booked here for $65.

(h/t It’s Nice That)

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  • Stephanie // ArtfullyAdored

    I think I know what I'm getting my brother for Christmas! What a wonderful creation!

  • Matt Mayer

    As an eBook developer, I know I'm kinda the great Satan here, but I do love print. This is a great idea, and I think I'm going to buy this!