In 2015, I started sharing photobooks about Appalachia via Instagram every Friday (well, almost every Friday). I wanted to use the photo-based social media platform to share some of the books from my collection and to sometimes deliver some brief thoughts about them. My collection isn’t large by any means, but some of these books have had a profound impact on me as a photographer and as an Appalachian.
I love the tangible nature of books. Even today, with digital cameras, iPads, and everything being digital, I still prefer to read the paper, to handle prints, and to spend time with books, especially photobooks. There’s something romantic to me about handling a book, spending time with it, noticing something on the third or fourth look that I missed on the first. Photographs live so differently in books that they do online or even on walls. There’s something about the pace of looking through a book, being able to put it down and pick it up again that I find comforting and I connect with. Books are an art in of themselves.
In an effort to dig a bit deeper and formulate my thoughts a bit about each of these books, I plan to write a more in-depth, opinionated review here. Like the Appalachia Photobook Friday Instagram posts, I’ll plan on publishing a review of each book on a Friday. My goal will be to keep the reviews under a thousand words, give or take, and to make this series available as a resource to anyone interested. In the interest of full disclosure, if books have been sent to me for review or as gifts, I’ll state that clearly. I won’t get anywhere near as in-depth as Jörg Colberg does over at Conscientious, but I’ll be clear about my opinion and thoughts on each book.
I’ve been excited about the conversations started as result of me posting these books to Instagram. I’m also excited to discover new books, so if you’d like to recommend one, please do.
(Below is a screenshot of how the books appeared in my Instagram feed, but please note that I won’t be posting reviews in any particular order.)