Recently, a visitor to our Bookscape Gallery stopped by our desks, laughing. He was delighted to have discovered one of our library’s little secrets – shelves of wooden books, carved with very special titles! We would love to share some of those with you today, but first, a little history…
Our current gallery was conceptualized in 2002 by James Bradberry, a Pennsylvania architect who has done multiple projects at Princeton University. Bradberry’s drawings were brought to life by artist and designer Judson Beaumont of Straight Line Designs. During the creative process, the idea of stocking the shelves with humorous wooden books was born, and the Cotsen staff was more than up to the challenge of brainstorming titles for them!
The book titles are a mix of puns, parody, and wordplay. Some have attributed authors, and some do not. They are scattered throughout the gallery for visitors to browse and enjoy. There is one very special giant book as well – the “Hearth of Darkness” over our faux fireplace has a space carved inside it that is PERFECT for housing Beatrix Potter books.
Below is an incomplete list of our tweaked titles (come visit us and see more!):
Feline in the Fedora
H. Granger, Fly Through Your Owls
Goldilocks: My Story
Dare to Be Different by U. Duckling
Effective Communication by Amelia Bedelia
Run Toto Run!
Bone Appetit by Mother Hubbard
The Poky Puppy Digs Deeper
Stepping Out of Line by Madeline
The Antarctic Local by Chris Van Allaboard
Ramona Quimby, Age 80
The Case of the Missing Button by Corduroy
Smell the Roses: Advice from the Bull Pen by Ferdinand
Richard’s Scariest Word Book Ever
Sadly, the grand creator of this library, Jusdon Beaumont, passed away in 2020. If you’re interested in learning more about his life and work, Cotsen’s curator Andrea Immel penned a beautiful tribute to him on the curatorial blog. You’re in our hearts Jud!