{bookworm: encyclopedia of the exquisite}

“…with searching, beauty can be found in the most unlikely places, folly is essential, and luxury doesn’t mean spending lots of money.”

– Jessica Kerwin Jenkins, Encyclopedia of the Exquisite

In the Introduction of the Encyclopedia of the Exquisite, Jessica Kerwin Jenkins calls her book an “ode to life’s many luxuries that don’t require much spending.” Inspired by a file kept on her desk filled with scraps which she titled ‘Why I Like It Here,’ ‘here’ being Earth, Jenkin’s book is a delightful collection of tidbits and anecdotes of the origins and evolutions of its subjects. Covering anything that peaked her interest from the history of Champagne to giant elephant shaped buildings to the royal origins of a pear, Jenkins makes each one magical and exotic. The Encyclopedia of the Exquisite is a collection of curiosities – a veritable treasure box filled with the whims and tasteful objects collected by the author whose own taste led her to a career as an editor for WWD, W in Europe, and now places her as a contributor to Vogue.

Jenkins said her editor, Nan Talese, insisted that the book’s design live up to it’s title. The result is just over 300 pages of beautiful details. The book is, indeed, exquisite. It’s beautifully illustrated and the pages are a reminder why some books should always be experienced in physical form; reading this book in digital form would be a sin.

A beautiful edition to any bookshelf or coffee table and an absolute treat to read, the Encyclopedia of the Exquisite makes a splendid and affordable gift. Pick up a few for your holiday gifts and, of course, one for yourself.

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