The Best Books on Bricks

July 7th 2021

The Best Books On Bricks

6 great books for brick lovers and brick layers alike

Are you a brick lover and a reader? We wouldn't want to presume that the two things are mutually exclusive.

But even if you're not much of a reader we all love a good picture book right?

Turns out there's a decent number of books on bricks out there. Of course, a lot of this info is freely available on the internet but you can't beat a good book to leaf through for reference. They make great gifts too.

Below we've selected some of the best. Maybe you've got some of them already or maybe you can add a few to the list.

As you might expect, all of these titles feature the word 'brick' pretty prominently. We've included some other details and links to help you find them.

1. Brick (mini format) by William Hall

Published by Phaidon, 2019

This little book captures some of the greatest brick architecture in the world with exceptional photography and accompanying commentary.

It's an arty book but the compact format (and more affordable price) makes it a great little companion for creatives, wannabe architects and people who just want to admire a good brick building.

The bigger original version is also available and has bigger pictures, obviously, but is also more expensive.

As well as the photos there are also a lot of accompanying words to read. A must have for any brick lover looking for inspiration.


2. Brick: A World History by Dr James Campbell

Originally published in 2003, updated for 2016.

If you want a thorough history of our favourite building material you can't go far wrong with this (although if you want a quick rundown, be sure to check out our blog on the history of bricks and brickmaking).

This large history book follows bricks throughout its long history, from its origins in 5000 BC to its use in buildings today. The book covers brick used in Roman baths, gothic brick buildings in Germany, temples in the middle east and more around the world.

As you'd expect there's plenty of photos and info about how far bricks have come and it really shows off how universal and versatile brick is.


3. British Bricks by David Kitching

Published by Amberley Books, 2016

If you want a more British approach to the history of bricks then this small book is for you.

Covering the development of brickworks in Britain and how they've changed, this book tracks a wide range of bricks from different places, often recognisable by the frog pressed into the bottom.

Brick manufacturing has grown in certain areas more than others due to the abundance of clay available and you can see that through the history charted in this book. This is more about the bricks themselves than the buildings.


4. Brick Index by Patrick Fry

Published by CentreCentre

If what you're after is a comprehensive record of bricks this handy publication prints pictures of them in real size, along with the many wild stamps and 'frogs' they carry.

This book revels in the unique history and quirks of bricks themselves and whilst there are many known makes and manufacturers here, there are also a number that have been lost, only recognisable by their markings.

It's a celebration of these graphic stamps as much as anything else and is definitely worth having to hand for any brick matcher or self-builder who wants to do a bit of research.

David Kitching pops up here too, to write the introduction.


5. 100 Contemporary Brick Buildings by Philip Jodidio

Published by Taschen, 2017, 2 book set.

Much like the Phaidon book above, this special coffee table book shows off some impressive brick buildings.

It takes the reader on a tour of the world in the form of brick architecture. Taschen are renowned for their impressive coffee table books for artists, creatives and architects the world over. This would be no different except that brick lovers may also find some inspiration here.

It includes some famous and striking examples of modern brick architecture and should be an encouragement to anyone working in brick, that this enduring building material is still very much in use.


6. Brickwork and Bricklaying: A DIY Guide by Jon Collinson

Published by The Crowood Press, 2012

Moving away from architecture and history, it may be that you want something more practical.

There are of course many books out there concerning bricklaying and DIY but this is a pretty good shout if you're a newbie and want to swot up on bricks.

This cheap and cheerful guide is a great intro to the craft of bricklaying and has everything you need to know to improve your skills, learn about materials and get prepared for your own building projects.


There's more where that lot came from

These are undoubtedly some of the best brick related books on the market but there are of course others out there.

Be sure to also check out each years International Brick Award (created by Weinerberger) publication. The latest was Brick 20: Outstanding International Brick Architecture. If you want to be at the cutting edge and get the latest in brick architecture, then you'll want to get this.

If you know of another brick book that you think should have been on our list, let us know! Who knows, we might add it on later.

We don't sell any brick books, but we do sell the thing they're all about... hit us up today.