Back in High school I had a weekend job and a small antique shop/book store. It was a very quite position, I worked the shop alone and there were few customers, so I spent most of my time dusting, stocking and pricing items and of course browsing (and reading) the selection of books on the shelves. The owners of course knew I loved finding new treasures to read, and one afternoon when they stopped in, they pulled a book off the shelf and told me it was now mine. The book was Griffin & Sabine by Nick Bantock.
I didn’t know what to expect as I cracked open the spine for the first time, but once it was open I couldn’t put it down, there is something magical about it. Part novella, part artistic endeavor and wholly mesmerizing, the nook is a series of letters, notes and postcards back and forth between two strangers. For someone who loves art, illustration and postcards, I felt that this book was meant just for me. Everything is hand illustrated, even the postage stamps are imaginitve, but my favorite pages are the ones where you have to physically take a letter out of the envelope in order to read it. At times it almost feels as if you are part of the book, or found these letters by chance.
The book ends of course on a bit of a cliff hanger. I remember contemplating what happened for days after reading the book for the first time, and then of course reading it again. It wasn’t until a few years later, in a local bookstore, that i discovered this book was the beginning of a trilogy (it wasn’t over after all). I have read all of the books, but the first one is still the most beautiful to me. If you happen to see this book sitting on a shelf, pick it up, read it, and pass it on. It’s a quick haunting read, but I promise you can spend hours admiring the illustrations.