Bigger is Better (and just what your coffee table needs)

Yes, you could shell out over $100 to buy that enormous, spectacularly illustrated coffee-table-worthy publication you saw at Whitcoulls. Alternatively, you could use your free library membership to borrow one of Christchurch City Libraries’ own gorgeous, larger-than-life tomes. What is more, your coffee table can play proud host to a different book each month! Paris this week, Hieronymus Bosch the next…never again will you have to stare at the same photographs of wild bears for years on end because you were a poor student and could only afford the one, heavily discounted, over-sized ‘Spirit of the Bears’ from Borders (RIP).

A thoughtfully selected coffee table book can add that much needed pop of colour to a room. It can also provide an excellent conversation reviver, or swiftly become an effective weapon. There is a coffee table publication for you, whatever your requirements.

Here are some of our biggest and best (click on an image to find out more).

Just be sure to clear out some room in your boot first.

The swoonsome art of New Zealand books

I am a fangirl for Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu.  And I love when Central Library Peterborough plays host to one of their exhibitions. What could be more fab than library + art?

New Zealand Illustrated: Pictorial Books from the Victorian Age is the next one off the blocks. It takes place from 29 October to 2 December. I was lucky enough to get a behind-the-scenes peek as curator Peter Vangioni let me put the gloves on and have a look at some of the library taonga. Here are some photos.

I’ve never been so close to the famed A History of the Birds of New Zealand (1873) by Walter Buller. The colour, the texture, the detail – all exquisite. The feathers glowed iridescent.
A History of the Birds of New Zealand (1873) by Walter Buller

Emily Harris’ New Zealand Flowers was a beauty too. I loved her plain descriptions. Further exploration revealed a lovely set of images Emily Cumming Harris on DigitalNZ.
New Zealand Flowers by Emily Harris (1890)

Kiwi as.
A History of the Birds of New Zealand (1873) by Walter Buller

Read some Art Gallery blog posts on the upcoming exhibition: