Incredible Cross-Sections

Stephen Biesty, Richard Platt

I will freely admit to once being an absolutely illiterate small child. I grew up in a very remote place which felt like the edge of civilization itself, and never had much access to reading material. The nearest library or bookstore was over a half-hour's drive away, and my school board shuttered the libraries in all the elementary schools. I don't think I was able to read even the simplest book until I was probably 7 or 8 years old, and what little stuff I was allowed to read often wasn't to my liking. The few times I did gain access to reading material, it was only ever at someone else's leisure. My few visits to a public library were always a confusing time, where I struggled to make the best of it.

Inevitably, I found myself drawn to these specific books of peculiar classification. Were they picture books for children? Or something for more general reading? A lot of libraries had these same volumes, but treated them quite differently. The memory of these old books, which I only ever read for the smallest of moments, hung in my mind. As a man grown, I eventually tracked down and added some heavily-used copies to my collections. They sit awkwardly on my shelves, several times taller than other books, yet somehow much thinner.

These are purely nostalgic reads for myself; I cannot verify anything about their informative value. It may very well be the case that there is some artistic license taken in the depictions, however detailed they may be.

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