“A Matter of Time” book about Route 66 coming in October

“A Matter of Time,” a photo-driven book about familiar and forgotten places on Route 66, will be coming in October from the University of Oklahoma Press.

The 272-page book, subtitled “Route 66 Through the Lens of Change,” by German photographer Ellen Klinkel and West Texas A&M marketing professor Nick Gerlich documents 101 spots along Route 66.

It “emphasizes forgotten and familiar places — relics of the past that are seldom, if ever, portrayed in print” and “causing us to reflect on the past and reconsider our place in the present,” according to a news release from OU Press.

More from the release:

Photographer Ellen Klinkel first traveled Route 66 in 2013. Immediately inspired to capture the road “in its pure essence” through the lens of her camera, she returned over the next four years to photograph various sites along the old highway. As she explains, the road is the “main character” in all her images, whether they depict a dramatic sky along Tornado Alley, a nightscape in the Mojave Desert, or a tranquil early morning on the Santa Monica Pier. She is drawn to places that evoke change and abandonment—especially ones that became obscure during the road’s periodic rerouting—as well as revival.

“A Matter of Time” follows the journey that so many Americans traveled for decades: starting from downtown Chicago, coursing through multiple states in the Midwest and Southwest, and culminating in Santa Monica, California, near Los Angeles. As a Route 66 historian and advocate, Nick Gerlich is deeply familiar with the entire route, both through personal experience and extensive research. His in-depth captions place Klinkel’s photographs in historical and cultural context, enhancing our understanding of her haunting images. Together, photographer and historian inspire new and unexpected ways to appreciate America’s Main Street.

According to the specs sheet on the book, it contains 174 black-and-white photographs and will be published in an 8-by-10-inch format with a cloth binding. It’s OU Press’ 36th volume in the Charles M. Russell Center Series on Art and Photography of the American West.

The book may be preordered through Amazon here or through OU Press here.

OU Press has published several other excellent Route 66 books in recent years, including “Route 66 Crossings” (an overview of the highway’s historic bridges), “Father of Route 66” (a biography of Cyrus Avery) and “Portrait of Route 66” (a closer look at the Curt Teich postcard archive).

(Image of “A Matter of Time” book cover via OU Press news release)

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