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Salon du Tapis d'Orient

The Salon du Tapis d'Orient is a moderated discussion group in the manner of the 19th century salon devoted to oriental rugs and textiles and all aspects of their appreciation. Please include your full name and e-mail address in your posting.

Rug Books: Our Libraries Runneth Over
by Jerry Silverman

It all starts out innocently enough - in a chicken/egg paradox sort of way. You buy a rug and want to know more about it. Or maybe you buy a rug book and find yourself stimulated to buy a rug. It's usually one or the other. Rarely in my experience does one simply buy rugs or books tothe exclusion of the other.

Then one day you notice that your bookcase is full. So you stack the HALIs over to one side and save the shelves for the books. But that doesn't work for as long as you thought it would; you're out of shelf space again. You find yourself leafing through the Yellow Pages looking for "cabinetmakers" who might build you just one more bookcase which will surely hold all your new rug books forever. (Forever turns out to be only two years, and you've got to find that cabinetmaker again.). I needn't go on; you know what I'm talking about. You thought you were collecting rugs and instead you were really collecting books.

It is those rug books that I'd like to talk about in this Salon.

To get the ball rolling let me suggest a few questions:

1) What rug book is the most informative? ...least informative?

2) What is your favorite rug book?

3) What is the most provocative new rug book? ...old rug book?

4) What was your first rug book and why did you buy it?

5) Which rug book has the best pictures? How do you feel about black backgrounds?

6) In the future, what topics would you like to see addressed in rug books?

7) In the future, how would you make rug books better?

8) How do you use your rug books? ...e.g., do you write in them or use highliter? Do you read them more than once? Do you wear them out?

9) Do the collectors mind if a book is an ex-lib (formerly part of a library's collection)?

10) Are rug books too expensive? How much is "too expensive" when it comes to rug books?11) Will the Internet (and sites like this) ever eliminate the need for rug books?

Finally, as a service to those new to rug collecting, could we compile a list of 25 "must have" rug books to form the core of a reference book collection?

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