Tamsin Clark of Tenderbooks Makes Shelves Come to Life
Century-old shopfronts in Cecil Court remain untouched, the definitive destination for book lovers overflows with history and expertise. Tenderbooks has its own rhythm. Rather than organised soberly by category, it feels more personal, more alive.
Tamsin Clark is that person behind a special collection of zines, photo books and ephemera, ‘I make and design books myself so I’m drawn to publications that are thoughtfully put together and formally innovative.’ We asked her three quick questions.
The shop buzzes with action. How does the artistic community featured on the shelves come alive at Tenderbooks?
– We have hosted tea tasting, yoga, Indian classical music, lectures, poetry, an oral history project on ghost stories…
– I invite artists and publishers to use our window space like a miniature gallery creating an installation that can be viewed day and night. One of my favourite displays was by the artist Cory Arcangel who used the shop front to advertise his brand Arcangel Surfware with an LED display in the style of a real estate office window.
– I like to think of publishing as ‘making public’ which isn’t restricted just to printed matter but encompasses many forms and outings.
Care to name some of your reads?
– I try to keep my own reading quite varied alternating between my own curiosity and current titles that I stock in the shop.
– Recently I’ve enjoyed Roland Barthes’ massive book The Preparation of the Novel, Fiona Tan’s 10 Madnesses, Kate Briggs’ book on translation This Little Art, The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin and I keep a copy of Anne Carson’s translations of Sappho close.
What about those in search of a gift for the harder-to-please?
– A rather magical gift would be Giorgio Di Noto’s The Iceberg, a photobook of imagery partly printed in invisible ink. The book is sold in a package alongside a miniature flashlight that you can shine on the pages to uncover a secret world.
6 Cecil Court, London, WC2N 4HE.
Tues – Sat, 11am – 6pm
More recommended reads by Tamsin Clark
Shikiin – Nobuyoshi Araki
Truant: Photographs 1970-1979 – Barbara Hammer
Prehistoric Collections – Camille Henrot
ABC We Print Anything – Carolee Schneemann
Wolkenstudien. Cloud Studies. Études des nuages – Helmut Völter
Toothbrushes – Maxime Guyon
Kitchari – Nick Sethi
PUNK+ – Sheila Rock
Maille – Tauba Auerbach
The Left Eye of A Game Player – Jonathan Monk
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