The Photo Book As Art and Insulation

Here’s some good news for people who love photo books—and all books for that matter. The science behind the claim—spelled out in an article in the Telegraph newspaper—isn’t really spelled out, as far as I can tell.

Here's some good news for people who love photo books—and all books for that matter.
If you are one of those people, you may sometimes feel guilty about trees being cut down for paper. But the editor's of the Bookseller magazine in the UK now assure all of us that books are environmentally good. Their thinking is that books lining the walls of homes actually provide a type of insultation, reducing energy usage for heating.
The science behind the claim—spelled out in[ an article in](http://Here's some good news for people who love photo books—and all books for that matter.) the Telegraph newspaper—isn't really spelled out, as far as I can tell. But it's an intriguing idea, and very welcome, I can tell you. I'm tired of carrying around a paper-lover's guilt. I believe in photo books as collections of history, as art objects in their own right. My office (above), which contains stacks and mountains of photo books, lined against walls and piled high on tables, must be the most energy efficient office in New York.
I know I'm not alone in this. A couple of weeks ago I was interview photographer/book packager Rick Smolan, who confessed that a lot of his friends try to make him feelbad about making books. (Rick is one of the people behind the popular "Day in the Life of..." series, so he's go a lot of trees to answer for.) But, as he told me, there is nothing like books in terms of reproducing images with great power and authority. The Telegraph article says that a survey of people in the UK found that many more would rather have a home library than a home theater system. I wonder if the same would be true in the U.S. Let's start our own informal pole: What would you rather have, a home photo library or a home theater?
—David Schonauer