COLOR, (Knapp Press/Viking, $50). This is an astoundingly rich treat, a book put together with the cooperation of "ophthalmologists, physicists, and psychologists; anthropologists and archaeologists, architects, fashion designers and interior decorators." It also seems to have availed itself of the talents of various art historians, cosmetologists and other specialists, in such fields as heraldry, jewelry, photography, dyeing, animation, marketing, etc. Giving us an encyclopedic survey of the world of color, what we learn almost immediately is how color is the world -- from flowers to sunsets, green-eyed blonds to cigarette packages, minarets to rep ties. More scientific and historical than anything else, in this volume each picture, whether of a ginger cat, a faded tapestry or a table setting, has a purpose; just about every illustration teaches something about the nature of color, stops us from taking for granted what our brains register so automatically. But more than the hundreds of illustrations the text engages us; crisp and catchy, even when highly technical, it promises many evenings of browsing and learning. A wonderful gift for a family -- and the British origins of the book shouldn't be too intrusive (the word "colour" is used throughout but with an explanation that it has a "600-year pedigree). THE DICTIONARY OF IMAGINARY PLACES, by Albert Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi. Illustrated by Graham Greefiels. Maps, and charts by James Cook (Macmillan, $19.95). Tired of the same old places when you indluge in a little armchair travel through the pages of your Rand-McNally? How about Futura? or Frivola? Cape Saknussem? or the Isle of Queens, in the Great Water Lake, which stretches from the Forest of Evihaw to the Castle of the Quest? If these don't appeal, why not a few, more familiar destinations -- like the Munchkin country of Oz, Narnia, or the Delectable Mountains? For anyone with a whimscial turn of mind or delight in fantastical scholarship, this novel volume offers endless hours of A-Z adventure in hundreds of never-never lands, charting points throughout "the vast scope of the imaginary universe." Manguel and Guadalupi are to be congratulated for overseeing this project. Text, pictures and maps are coordinated perfectly to provide information in an atmosphere of dignified whinsey. It belongs as a must-item on the bookshelves of Shangri-la, along with that other similarly title, A Field Guide to the Little People. WINDOWS AT TIFFANY'S: The Art of Gene Moore, by Judith Goldman with commentary by Gene Moore (Abrams, $50). For many years Gene Moore's name has been a familiar one to those-in-the-know about Manhattan ephemera. As a designer of the display windows for a very select group of Fifth Avenue stores -- among them, Bergdorf's and Bonwit's -- before taking up residence at Tiffany's where he has made merchandising history for the last quarter-century, Moore is sui generis. Consistently innovative, he has turned the Tiffany & Co. windows into a tourist attraction and spawned imitators in department stores and boutiques around the world. Moore's eye-catching juxtapositions of mundane objects -- such as sugar cubes, eggs, umbrellas, pasta, ice cream cones, etc. -- with priceless jewels, as well as his narrative compositions and his marvelous peces of trompe l'oeil, are what his reputation derives from, and this munificently illustrated book has over 200 examples to gawk at in the privacy of one's own home. Moore, also tohis credit, recognized early the talents of then-commercial artists Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg, hiring them in the '50s to work on his windows. For some people, so much space devoted to a window designer in one exensive book might seem a ridiculous extravagance, if not out-and-out decadence; for others it will appear a fitting tribute to 20th-century master of applied arts. TIFFANY WINDOWS, by Alastair Duncan (Simon and Schuster, $45). The name "Tiffany" has come to be associated with American art glass from the late 19th and early 20th centuries much as Agatha Christie is now synonymous with the Golden Age of British mystery. In terms of quantity and quality, innovation and influence, the comparison is far from inapt, and in both cases their popularity has rendered critical last words somewhat superfluous. After his death in 1933, the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany fell from fashion for a few decades; then, in the mid-'60s, prices for the various objects produced by the Tiffany studios -- such things as lamps, vases, desk sets, etc. -- began to rise in price as the vogue for Art Nouveau took hold. Today sadly, imitations calling themselves "Tiffany-style," or even boldly, "Tiffany," are becoming more familiar than the originals. However, the stained-glass windows bearing the Tiffany signature -- that is to say, the large landscape, portrait and floral ones -- remain one aspect of the Tiffany genius less simple to copy or cheapen. Capping the wave, then, of books on Tiffany which appeared in the '70s is Alastair Duncan's painstaking survey of Tiffany's window this a stunning treat for Tiffany-ophiles. Duncan looks at the technological achievements of the Tiffany studios, at the principal designers, at the window themes, as well as at the history of many of the commissions. There are Tiffany windows in over half of the states of the union, and Duncan also pinpoints 23 window sites in the District. Do not, though, be misled by the jacket claim that this book contains "a complete list of all known Tiffany windows." Domestic commissions are omitted, as are most of the windows executed between 1910 and 1932.