Justine Ellis and Dan Rule, proprietors of Thornbury’s art book store, Perimeter Books, have no room left on their bookshelves. “We have a gigantic pile,” jokes Rule. “When we first started Perimeter in 2011, we thought if it didn’t work out, it didn’t really matter because we’d just have a really good book collection.”
Thankfully, though, it has worked out; so much so the pair have opened a second outlet closer to town. A focused selection of Perimeter’s impressive assembly of small press, photography, architecture and design publications will be available at Mina-no-ie, Collingwood’s delicately sparse warehouse cafe. “Everything that’s at Mina-no-e will be available in Thornbury, but it’s a much tighter selection,” says Rule. “It’s a taster, in a sense.”
Perimeter’s books are, without exception, beautifully made, expertly curated, and always unusual. Ellis and Rule scour the web for new favourites, and regularly pick through international fairs in Tokyo, New York, Paris and Frankfurt. Essentially, a book has to have something special if it wants to make it to Perimeter’s shelves. “It’s not really about subject or art form or anything like that,” explains Rule. “It’s kind of a more elusive attitude. It’s a book that’s beautiful and considered, it makes sense and the book is appropriate to the work.”
As a genuine connoisseur of the medium, Rule believes we’re living in the golden age of the art book. “While it’s been around for decades and decades, there’s been a new wave of it,” he says. “For most people, buying art by our favourite artist is way, way out of reach. But by buying a book you can own a little bit, or have an experience of an artists work that you can carry through you life for a price you can afford.”
Perimeter plans to make good use of the extra space, with plans to hold regular launch parties and exhibitions at Mina-no-ie.
“While we’ll still be maintaining an active exhibition program at Perimeter proper, Mina-no-e will provide a nice context for being that little bit closer in,” says Rule.