First off, I am the kinda guy who judges books by their cover. The Spectators is a beautiful hard cover book that deals with themes of modern philosophy. The spine has a rough texture and the rest of the cover smooth. It has silver text which shines nicely. The pages are also thick and sturdy. Good book covers are often overlooked, but they add a lot of value. When a book takes this much care in its physical properties its contents will almost always reflect that. This is a valued addition to my bookshelf.
I heard about this book on The Black Ponderer’s YouTube channel and filmed a video in his style to discuss the book. This book is so deep and has so many possible interpretations that it can’t really be spoiled, it has excellent re-read value. (As a good picture book needs)
I cover 3 pictures, every page has similar depth to it so this is just a sample. The first picture (@1:20) deals with man’s destruction of nature. The second point covers how people have a desire to explore but discovery doesn’t satiate them for long (@2:50). The third point deals with the different roles we take on in life and we shouldn’t be surprised when we age and become the old man ourselves (@4:40).
I’d recommend The Spectators most strongly as a gift for someone you know is interested in philosophy. Lots of books, especially long wordy books, make for poor gift ideas unless you know for sure the other person will really enjoy it. You can be confidant that they will actually read and gain from The Spectators though due to its reliance on pictures.
I love it when artists can create pictures to explain ideas that are hard to communicate in words. The Spectators makes existential thought much more accessible for those who are not academically inclined.
If you are interested in even more discussion check out the Black Ponderer’s video on the book.