The Non-Blogger and I went over to Covington yesterday to see the Mercantile Library’s piece of the “The Art of the Word” exhibit before it closed, which, by the time you read this, it probably will have since it was to run through the 26th. The Carnegie had borrowed one of our favorite pieces, a turn of the twentieth century bookcase with glass doors and a bit of Art Nouveau decoration, and curator Bill Seitz had set up twenty or so of the Library’s Hall Collection books so that you could see the full front through the glass doors. Crikey, they were great. There are, frankly, no bad Hall Collection covers. They’re all wonderful, although some are even more wonderful than others. But all, and I mean absolutely all of them are way way better than any of the color drenched, embossed, overwrought covers we strip from our new arrivals and turn into Library art. Virginius Hall, who gave the collection to the Library, has to avert his eyes when he goes past our new arrival display with its collection of maimed dust jackets, but maiming is too good for most of them. The old ways are always the best ways.