Page 95 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 12

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89
GOODMAN — LOVE OF BOOKS
(Philadelphia, 1954). Here, too, an old man is seen reading by the
light of a candle. In the dark background is a case of books. Cap-
ping the bookcase is the reminder:
תיגהו
וב םמוי
הלילו
, from
God’s charge to Joshua: “This book of the Law shall not depart
out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night,
that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written
therein; for then thou shalt make thy ways prosperous, and then
thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1.8).
Striking is the bookplate, entitled “The Forsaken Nook,” made
by Dr. Solomon S. Levadi of Chicago, 111., for his own use. In
this piece of graphic art, the artist-owner successfully caught the
idea which he also expressed in his three volume Yiddish novel,
Thresholds
(Chicago, 1948), dealing with the reconstruction of a
life which began in Russia, continued in Israel, and concluded in
Chicago. The illustration conveys the mood of the secluded corner
of a student. A spider web in a corner denotes desolation. Pene-
trating a barred window, a wide ray of light illuminates the
open pages of a volume of the Talmud, signifying the heritage of
the Jewish people. The frame-work is an intricate composition
of leafless branches, some barren (frustration) and some ready to
bud (effort and promise).
“City of Books” is the title
of an
Ex-libris
drawn by the
famous Jewish artist, Uriel
Birnbaum, now living in Hoi-
land, for Marco Birnholz.
This depicts a road, winding
up a mountain, surrounded by
books. At the peak is a large
volume of the Bible with the
title on the spine: ,
,הרות
םיאיבנ
םיבותכ. This same illustration,
with the exception of
Ex-
libris
and the name of the
owner, was made by Birnbaum
in full colors and, through the
courtesy of Dr. Birnholz, was
reproduced by the Jewish
Book Council of America as
the official poster for Jewish
Book Month.
The examples of bookplates that we have been presenting are
intended to reveal the love of books as portrayed through this