Thursday, April 23

Bargain Art Books

Today’s Image
Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa
appears in many art books

I recently bought a couple of books about acrylic painting online at Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, you know that’s the online retailer for almost everything for sale in the world. This is not an endorsement for Amazon at all, just an acknowledgement that their site has a good inventory of art books for sale.

If you’ve bought art or other kinds of books on Amazon (or any other large online book or retail site), you may have noticed that, in addition to the book you want listed as being “on Amazon” itself, there are usually many more of the same book also available from independent booksellers.

What that means is that even though you’re purchasing the book online through, the book may be coming from an independent bookseller somewhere else rather than from one of Amazon’s distribution centers.

It doesn’t really matter, and that’s not what today’s blog is about anyway.

Today’s blog is about the enjoyment I receive, and I’m guessing you do, too, if you’re an art book lover, from looking through the printed catalog many booksellers send you after buying one of their books.

I am not endorsing this particular bookseller, or any other bookseller, but I received an old-fashioned printed catalog in the U.S. mail from Edward Hamilton Bookseller. The catalog is headlined Bargain Books in at least 72-point type on its cover.

This catalog includes not only art books, but every other kind of book you can think of. All kinds of books from Music Recordings to Television and Radio to Philosophy and African Americans are listed.

All kinds of art books are listed, most accompanied by a postage-size photo of the cover. What I like best is reading the titles and the brief blurb about the book’s content and then deciding if it’s one I want to buy. I counted 193 in all. The Art Books section runs from p. 59 to p. 66, so there's quite a selection.

Here’s one example: “Box Top Air Power: The Aviation Art of Model Airplane Boxes by Thomas Graham; showcases some of the most recognized and dynamic examples of aviation art ever produced having appeared on model airplane kit boxes; illus in color, 175 pages, 8 ½ x 11, paperbound, USD$21.95

And another: “1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die; ed. By Stephen Farthing presents an essential, visually arresting reference for all art lovers; takes an incisive look at the world’s best paintings from ancient Egyptian wall paintings to contemporary Western canvases; illus in color, 960 pages, Universe, USD$23.95.

There are many, many more, and they range in price from USD$3.95 (Greek Art) to USD$289.95 (Later Chinese Painting and Calligraphy 1800-1950).

This type of catalog is also available online at many booksellers’ sites. However, there’s something special about having the printed catalog in hand and being able to flip among the pages comparing the books that is most satisfying—even though I’ll still buy the book online.

I must stop blogging now and purchase one of these books immediately!


  1. Hi Byrne,

    I wanted to write and tell you about a new forum for artists, musicians, fashion designers, and filmmakers: site allows artists from all over the world to connect, display their portfolios, and sell their work (with no commission taken). The site gives you a gigabyte of space to showcase your portfolio, allows you to stream audio and video works, lets you create live personal broadcasts for your followers, and translates any writing into ten different languages. If you could take the time to visit the site, let your readers know about it, and even sign up yourself and link to it on your site it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    All the best,
    Sarah at

  2. Thanks for your comment. I checked out your site. I agree--undiscovered artists may be interested.

    Anyone else have an opinion?