I've always found James Fennell's photo of disheveled books at Huntington Castle beautiful but I'm guessing Isabelle de Conihout, Curator of Rare Books at the Bibliothèque Mazarine in Paris and a specialist in bookbinding history and book collecting, would tell us this arrangement is kind of rough on the volume's softly colored spines.
She'll be in New York tomorrow night, January 24, at The Bard Graduate Center for a talk: Cardinal Mazarin: A Great Collector of Art and Books in Seventeenth-Century France. In addition to his serious passion for art, Mazarin had a thirst for books. His personal library was ultimately opened to the public, overseen by librarian/scholar Gabriel Naudé (1600-1653), and grew to become the Bibliothèque Mazarine. Details on the 6 p.m. lecture here.