Daily Picture Show

Adventures In Photoland With The Biggest Book Ever

I have fallen down the rabbit hole into the world of Rodney Smith and I'm taking you with me.

(Photo by Rodney Smith)

(Photo by Rodney Smith) hide caption

itoggle caption

It all began when someone told me to check out Smith's Web site — that the photos had this modernized, old-timey classic look. So I visited, and was greeted by an advertisement for Smith's new book.

Impressed by the photographs, and intrigued by what was touted as "The Hat Book," "The Book of Books," I asked to borrow a review copy, in no way expecting what came in the mail.

It may not literally be the biggest book ever, but the thing is monolithic and has a price tag of more than $700. It almost broke the mailman's back. And the cover declares, in neat but ominous lettering, "The End."
That's the book's title.

The design, graphics and layout alone could be considered art, and the text is hilarious. In any case, I wanted to be fair and treat this book like every other, by giving it a thorough review. Which meant toting it around during my daily routine, perusing it at every spare moment.

  • Every book deserves a thorough review. So, to treat this one like I do all others, I toted it around throughout the day for strictly professional purposes — starting with breakfast. And (attn: publishers) I wore gloves, totally terrified of soiling its beautiful (i.e. super expensive) design.
    Hide caption
    Every book deserves a thorough review. So, to treat this one like I do all others, I toted it around throughout the day for strictly professional purposes — starting with breakfast. And (attn: publishers) I wore gloves, totally terrified of soiling its beautiful (i.e. super expensive) design.
    Photos by Heather Murphy and Becky Lettenberger
  • What a leisurely read for one's commute!
    Hide caption
    What a leisurely read for one's commute!
  • And a point of curiosity in the workplace cafeteria — at a lunchtable clear of all food and drink, of course.
    Hide caption
    And a point of curiosity in the workplace cafeteria — at a lunchtable clear of all food and drink, of course.
  • Fodder for thought during a coffee break (and a good prop to hide behind).
    Hide caption
    Fodder for thought during a coffee break (and a good prop to hide behind).
  • During my commute home, the last thing I want to do is read. Unless  "reading" means a book of photographs.
    Hide caption
    During my commute home, the last thing I want to do is read. Unless "reading" means a book of photographs.
  • Casual bedside reading. Upon thorough review, I conclusively recommend this book. I also recommend carrying it with you always and everywhere. You'll make friends.
    Hide caption
    Casual bedside reading. Upon thorough review, I conclusively recommend this book. I also recommend carrying it with you always and everywhere. You'll make friends.

1 of 6

View slideshow i

Now I know you're dying to see the photos, so without much further ado, I will show them to you.

Have an idea? Pitch it!

The Picture Show on Facebook or on Twitter

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.