It's a Book, It's a Blog, Too

Here’s another blog that just became a book: Michael Bierut’s new collection of essays, Seventy-Nine Short Essays on Design, published by Princeton Architectural Press. Sixty-eight of those essays first appeared on Design Observer, the blog that Bierut edits with Wiliam Drenttel, Jessica Helfand, and contributors.

Bierut has started a conversation at Design Observer about why someone might want to possess a book of essays whose content is largely available for free on the Internet.

I see a couple of reasons.

First, the book gives us all Bierut, all the time. It pulls together his singular voice, allowing us to listen to it as a whole. Likewise, although I read the New Yorker most weeks, I would still be interested in seeing essays gathered over time by some of its best contributors. (I can find the essays for free on-line, although the New Yorker may not know that.)

Second, the book is permanent. In twenty years, this book will remain a snapshot of a particular moment in history. And since it is written by Michael Bierut, it will be a funny and candid snapshot that will make anyone still alive then laugh.

Third, every essay in the book is set in a different typeface, and it’s still not possible to do that on a blog.