This past weekend was the Greenwich Village Antiquarian Book Fair at PS 3 in NYC. I do not usually find much in the way of bargains at these events since they are full of book dealers who mostly price according to ABE listings but a friend of mine did find a shrink-wrapped copy of Robert Adams Our Lives and Our Children published by Aperture in 1984 for a mere $25.00. Seems there are some very good prices still to be found even through the dealers.
My only find was a small booklet that appealed to my love of design. It is called Parachute-Jumping and Gliding: Popular Soviet Sports. Upon seeing the cover, I was hoping that this 32 page booklet would be like a mini-version of the now famous
Parachute-Jumping and Gliding: Popular Soviet Sports was a part of a 30 booklet series aimed at revealing the great achievements of the
This one in particular drew my attention because it contains two illustrations that combine photography and design into graphs meant to show records held in both gliding and parachuting by Soviets. (Since there are so few illustrations in this booklet I have shown all of them in my composite above). The other enticing features are the two color cover graphic and the letterpress interior.
The other booklets in this series might be tempting to pick up if found for under $5.00 but for purposes of the photography, they are skimpy and would probably be uninteresting for the average photobook enthusiast. I paid $15 for this copy and I see many others listed online starting around $20. If anyone has the complete set and could recommend another title that is equally as enjoyable as this parachute booklet, please let me know via the comments section.
Staying within the topic of Russian photobooks, I found an interesting title several months back in a junk warehouse here in
Soviet Photography 1939 contains 66 photographs and has beautiful burgundy hard covers with gold colored, debossed titles and a decorative-edged spine. The cover is very reminiscent of high school yearbook designs common from the 1930’s here in the
After a three page introduction touting the greatness of Soviet photography (and ideology) the book proceeds with photos typical of the
There are a few clues with this book that would indicate that is was published as a souvenir from the New York World’s Fair like the small booklet on parachuting I described above. The first being the publication date of 1939 but also the introduction is in English instead of Russian. The last and most tenuous being that I found it in Brooklyn within 7 miles from
Accounting for inflation of the cost of living over the past 70 years, I am not complaining that these gems set me back $20.00 in total.