Our books are for people who enjoy the look of a book, the printing and binding of a book. Reed Contemporary Books are also for lovers of great writing, new editions of well known authors often illustrated by exceptional artists are one focus of the collection. Shakespeare, Dickens, Neruda, Motion and Goethe are just some of the literary stars whose works are included.
A few of the books in this collection have no words, a few no illustrations, a small number no binding but every book has something very special about it.
All the books have been chosen by Josie Reed who has 35 years of experience looking, collecting and working in the visual arts. Books have become her main interest since closing her much loved gallery in Bath – originally set up in 1995 as Six Chapel Row Contemporary Art and relaunched in 2006 as the Chapel Row Gallery.
The number of books held is relatively low compared with most book sellers, but the quality of the books is very high. Each book is the result of much thought and many hours of works. The processes of planning and production that go into each book are many and vary from book to book. One book may be the result of many collaborations, between author, illustrator, printer and binder or all the processes may be done by one single artist working alone in his or her studio (often a garden shed).
Books with fine bindings are another focus of the collection. Designer or special bindings have been made by specialist bookbinders over many centuries. In the UK today bookbinding is flourishing and there are some exceptionally brilliant bookbinders at work whose work is in demand all around the world. Equally there are artists for whom the binding of the book remains an essential part of the production of the book and there are many artists who make outstanding and collectable bindings.