This book, one of those mad Taschen extravaganzas, is so big and heavy that it’s almost impossible to lift. It’s mostly filled with colorful illustrations of the circus through the ages — well, from 1870 to 1950, anyway — over six hundred pages of them.  It’s the next best thing to attending a show under the big top.

This is the original 2008 printing of the book, now out of print.  An abridged version was issued in 2010, about 100 pages shorter, and smaller in size, at a greatly reduced price — available today online for around $45.  The original edition usually sells for several hundred dollars, though I got mine at a bargain for $69, including shipping.  I don’t think the bookstore I bought it from realized it was selling the out-of-print edition.

Click on the image to enlarge.