Read a book. Turn on a light.

Recently, I went searching for new images to add to my collection of images of books featured in art. A funny theme began to emerge with the images I was finding.

It was books as light—books as sources of illumination–an obvious metaphor, but funny to see so many of them popping up in what was a pretty short, random search.

There are books to come home to…

Illustration by Mariusz Stawarski

There are books to light the way

Illustration by Davide Bonazzi

And books that light the way to dimensions far from home

Illustration by Karolis Strautniekas

Of course, it’s not so much about books, but illumination in whatever form it comes to us.

Illustration by Matt Murphyred

Some knowledge can be dangerous–radioactively so.

Illustration by Karolis Strautniekas

It can even lead you astray. Although I’m not sure if the artist is commenting on the content or the form here.

Illustration by Brian Fitzgerald

Sometimes books are all sweetness and light…

Illustration by Takashi Tsushima

Sometimes they are their own source of darkness and confusion.

Illustration by Franco Matticchio

Whatever they are, books beckon…

Illustration by Quint Buchholz

especially in times like these.



7 responses to “Read a book. Turn on a light.

  1. Just want to jump in quickly to say thanks for this post, Bonny! How marvelous the names of the illustrators are – Buchholz, Matticchio, Tsushima, Fitzgerald, Strautniekas, Murphyred, Bonazzi, Stawarski!!! – which indicates to me that this sense of illumination is shared by people from many backgrounds and cultures, which is also comforting – as you say – in times like these.

  2. So true! I see a lot of images that feature light and books, a shaft of sunlight, a bedside lamp, but it was to suddenly see so many were the books themselves were the “lamps.” Universal, like you say.

  3. Gretchen Hansen

    It’s easy to see that books beckon to Bonny Becker, as well as the rest of us!

  4. They do for sure! I have more books then I’ll ever possibly read.

  5. I love pairing light and books as metaphor. There are some fabulous illustrations, here.

  6. laurakvasnosky

    what an enlightening post. the light of books is exactly why they mean so much to us, as these wonderful images make so plain. thank you bonny!

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