He chose my 2014 book, In the Wake of the Dream.
I chose Islam Aly's book, Crucial Perimeter I. He wrote: "there is no text or images in the folios. It's about the beauty of a specific style of Arabic calligraphy 'Thuluth Style' showing its distinctive shapes and characteristics, you can see them on the edges and embossed on the covers." Considered "powerful," this style is often used for titling and on buildings. The sculptural quality of this little book makes it like architecture itself, which connects the content and form even further. Although it is a Coptic binding, it also has endbands. There's a nice online tutorial for making those here. They look terrific on Islam's book because it is so long.
When closed, you can see the beautiful shapes on the head and fore edge; when opened, the designs disappear. The inner pages are blank. The book can only be understood when it is closed: the notion of having to open a book to read it is challenged. Yet, even closed, it doesn't make sense: the letters do not form words. The letters stand in for the concept of beauty. Or: the letters become beautiful images and the mistake is in trying to read them intellectually at all. Marks on a page aren't writing here, but art.
I am generally a word person. I like to read. But this is a book that celebrates letterforms without needing to be read, a celebration of beauty.