Somewhere I have an edition of Nairn’s London which has been in the family since it was first published in the 1960s. Ian Nairn was an architectural critic and something of a self-created grumpy middle-aged man – among other things he was incredibly scathing about the Royal Festival hall in London. With his emphasis on wandering around and observing his approach would now probably be classified as psychogeography.
Nairn’s London has recently been reissued and I was amused by this piece from the Independent about the production process. Perhaps most telling is that no artwork, and no digital original, of the cover survived, so for the reissued version the designers at Penguin needed to seek out copies in good condition on the second-hand market.