What to do while listening to albums on your turntable?
Pour a glass of wine? Crack a cold one? Perhaps you lean towards Japanese whiskies? Better yet, invite a friend over.
But what if you’re not in a social-spinning mood?
When I have some black discs queued up for heavy rotation, and I’m by myself, I usually tend to pour over liner notes of the LP playing, but often I’ll bury my nose in big coffee table books, and what could be better than coffee table books about vinyl or high fidelity?
Caveat: I haven’t read all of these books, but they all look the business, and more importantly, they look like they would be enjoyable to read, and I’m definitely one to fetishize over the large glossy photographs they all contain.
I hope you enjoy these selections I’ve put together, and if you have some great reads you’d like to share, please include them with links to where to buy them in the comments section.
Record Stores: A Tribute to Record Stores
“Bernd Jonkmanns from Hamburg, Germany has spent the last six years travelling the world – 30 cities on five continents – to photograph over 160 record stores, the store owners, the buyers, and the people who work there. His photos show their love and passion for vinyl, cd, and buying music in a store. This is what they all share and what makes the specific atmosphere of such stores unique, and a microcosm for the hobby.”
Vinyl: The Art of Making Records
“In our increasingly digital world, audiophiles know that the real recording is on vinyl. That’s why sales of vinyl continue to soar. Mike Evans offers a sumptuous visual celebration of this medium’s fascinating history and triumphant rebirth. From weighty 78s to feisty 45s, from eccentric EPs to legendary LPs, he brings vinyl recordings off the shelves and out of the crates.”
101 Essential Rock Records: The Golden Age of Vinyl from The Beatles to The Sex Pistols
“This volume celebrates The Beatles 1961 debut through to The Sex Pistols 1977 classic Never Mind The Bollocks. The blue-chip artists are here, but this thoughtful book is also peppered with lesser-known nuggets and underexposed musicians. The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Pink Floyd rub elbows with Laura Nyros, and Pentangle. An essay on each title accompanies reproductions of the original vinyl album cover artwork, with many rare variations from around the world.”
Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting
“Compelling photographic essays from photographer Eilon Paz are paired with in-depth and insightful interviews to illustrate what motivates these collectors to keep digging for more records. The reader gets an up close and, personal look at a variety of well-known vinyl champions, including Gilles Peterson and King Britt, as well as a glimpse into the collections of known and unknown DJs, producers, record dealers, and everyday enthusiasts. Driven by his love for vinyl records, Paz takes us on a five-year journey unearthing the very soul of the vinyl community.”
Arne Reimer: Long Play
“For more than a decade, photographer Arne Reimer visited record stores and collectors in Europe and the US, creating portraits and interior photos that capture the era of the vinyl record. Long Play compiles Reimer’s look back to an analog age, documenting the evolution of a medium.”
The Record Store Book: Fifty Legendary and Iconic places to Discover New and Used Vinyl
“In 2011, Mike Spitz began photographing dozens of record stores in and around the greater Los Angeles area, rich with old and new record shops, to capture the lively experience of going to the independent record store. Beautifully wrought on colour film, his photographs illustrate how each store has a unique and vibrant culture, and the stimulating experience of being in a record store and discovering that rare vinyl record, cassette or 8-track tape, memorabilia, vintage concert poster, turntable, nostalgia, or other music-related gems. The inclusion of in-depth interviews with store owners demonstrates how record stores cultivate a communal gathering place for human interaction, exploration and discovery.
In chronological order from the oldest existing stores, such as Canterbury Records that opened in 1956 in Pasadena or Music Man Murray Records that opened in 1962, to the most recently opened stores, The Record Store Book respectfully marks the changing of the guard from the older to the newer generation of stores as each owner shares facts, store history, and distinctive points of view regarding how people search for, find and appreciate music.”