The easier it is to absorb the information in a book the better. For me a book is valuable because of what it contains and if it remains closed or is hard to manage it isn’t helping me learn and grow as an artist. And as visual artists most of our books aren’t about the text, it’s all about the pictures. For this reason I have my instruction type books Spiral bound.
Kinkos or Staples does this service for around $2.50 a book.
This makes the book MUCH easier to manage. I can put it up in front of me on my easel and I don’t have to fight to have the book stay open to see the illustrations I want to learn from.
I also do this with smaller sized books like George Bridgeman’s book on life Drawing and John Vanderpoel’s book, two of my all time favorites. I like to have these two books with me when go to drawing workshops. Often in these type of situations I like to sketch from these books when the model is at break or if I get to the workshop early. Spiral binding these books allows me to easily hold one in my hand while drawing with the other. When I was attending collage I would draw from these books when I was in my car waiting for class begin.
The Bridgman book is more for construction and the drawings in it are mainly liner. The Vanderpoel book is more about refinement of anatomy most of the drawings are tonal and the Charles Bargue book is all about simplifying complex forms. It is both linear and tonal. All three of these books I highly recommend. I however cannot end this post without recommending probably the best instructional author of them all: Andrew Loomis. Head and Hands and Figure Drawing for all its Worth probably his best works cover just about everything but the strength of his books lies in his finishes. He has the best looking finished drawings. These books have been out of print for a while but recently they have been reprinted and you can now order them from amazon or wherever.
click on any of the books above to link to Amazon