• February 18, 2009
  • Posted by Marc

Books We Love: Public Phenomena by Temporary Services

Over the years, one of the things we love to do when we travel is to discover amazing self published books at stores like Magma in London or Zakka in New York. But unfortunately most of these types of small bookstores have either gone out of business or are now completely filled with mass market titles that you can easily find much cheaper on Amazon. 

So this year, knowing that times are tough not just in the United States but in cities around the world, Sara and I are more committed than ever to use the Wooster site and the audience we have to showcase less expensive works that we (and the people who made them) are sincerely passionate about.  Things that are truly special.

So beginning this week, we’re launching a new series of books for sale on the site that we think are truly special. Each book was chosen not because a publisher approached us, but rather hand selected by Sara an I solely because we want other people to have the book in their collection and share our passion for the work. 

Most of the books in this series will be small editions, often self published, and ones that we feel have not received the attention they deserve.  We’re keeping the cost of the books as low as we can, always under $20.00 except for rare occasions, so that as many people as possible can buy them and include in their library. 


We couldn’t be happier to launch the series today with a book entitled ‘PUBLIC PHENOMENA” by the acclaimed Chicago based collective, Temporary Services.

Public Phenomena took ten years to complete and only 1,750 copies were printed by Half Letter Press.  The book is an amazing survey of handmade “modifications and inventions” that people create in public space.  There’s over 150 pages of photographs and essays in the book that cover a wide range of themes including roadside memorials, makeshift barriers, handmade basketball hoops, plant protectors and more.  Sara and I found the book to be absolutely fascinating and incredibly life affirming and inspiring.  We’re confident that you’ll love the book, but if you don’t, all you have to do is return it to us and we’ll refund your money.  Public Phenomena $15.00 by Temporary Services Chicago: Half Letter Press. 2008 Pages: 152 Dimensions: 8.5” x 5.5” Cover: soft Binding: perfect bound, sewn Process: digital Color: color cover, full color Edition Size: 1750