It’s damn near the end of 2015, and skateboarding has never been older and more mature. And what better way to show off that newfound adult-ness than with a shelf full of books – you know, real books made of paper like you might find at a library or something. Sure you could buy the collected works of Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Joyce, and Roth, but then you’d actually have to read them or run the risk of being called out as a literary poser. So instead of all that pretentious, wordy, mumbo jumbo, how about you check out some books about skateboarding?
Fortunately for you, this year has been a pretty good one for skaters that want to read but don’t really want to read about anything besides skateboarding. So here’s 5 books from 2015 that deserve a spot on your shelf, coffee table, or toilet.
Oh, and if you are going to go out and buy these books (or any book really), when possible, do it from your local bookstore. Amazon, even though it’s convenient, is like the mall shops of the literary world – not to be fucked with, and not to be supported.
SEE SPOT SHRED
Remember when you were a kid and were trying to learn the alphabet, so you got that one book and turned to page 1 and saw: “A is for abacus,” and you were like, “What the fuck is an abacus? It’s the 20th Century, I’ve got a calculator you stupid book!” Maybe that’s the reason why so many skaters hate to read, they never had an engaging way to learn the foundation of the English language. Dylan Goldberg’s See Spot Shred seeks to change that with 26 full-color illustrations and alliterative captions of dogs doing skate stunts. So instead of “A is for an antiquated abacus,” you get, “Afghan Always Airwalks Above Altitude,” with a colored wood-cut of an adorable shaggy-haired Afghan blasting an air over the coping of a mini-ramp. This one is great for dog-lovers, parents, and skater’s who still can’t read and write good.
SKATE THE WORLD: PHOTOGRAPHING ONE WORLD OF SKATEBOARDING
There’s such an important relationship between a skateboard photographer and the spot that they’re photographing that a book like Skate the World could come out by a new photographer every week. Jonathan Mehring has been luckier than most with the places and people he’s gotten to document, and this book, published by National Geographic, is a full-on world tour of places you wish you could skate and people you wish you could skate like. The full-color photos are hi-gloss and gorgeous, and are nice enough to (almost) make you forget about the cliched quotes that border some of the pages. So skateboarding is a universal language, we get it, why not just let the photos speak for themselves? Either way, this one’s worth the purchase for the spot porn alone.
Straight up, we haven’t read all of this book yet, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it to peruse on your own. The writer, Damien Burden (if that is his real name) hit us up a while ago with an essay submission about the relationship between skater and architect that was truly out-of-this-world. It was heady and difficult and thought-provoking and simply impossible to promote to our audience, so we never posted it. Flash forward to today and Damien has self-published his first book, an extended exploration of where memories meet dreams within a skater’s mind. Looking for something complicated and experimental to read while you canvas the inside of your too-stoned soul? This one’s for you. “Thou shall push, or thou shall perish.”
TF AT 1: 10 YEARS OF QUARTERSNACKS
If you’ve been following what’s what in skateboarding, then you’re undoubtedly familiar with Quartersnacks, the NYC based skate/fashion/Future/
ADVENTURES IN THE NEARBY FAR AWAY
Aside from his noseblunts, impossibles, and transistor sect drawings, you should know by now that Ed Templeton is an engaging, well-respected, and oft-published street photographer. His latest book, Adventures in the Nearby Far Away, is a deep dive into Ed’s many visits to Catalina Island, a favorite little tourist spot of his off the SoCal coast. Beautifully constructed, it’s an accordion book that stretches out to 26 feet of carefully composed imagery. Within the folds is a little bit of everything: journal entries, slice-of-life street shots, blurry nudes, striking stills of our fleeting existence… Fold it out and embrace your voyeurism, you sick fuck.