So, yesterday I decided to go to my friendly Goodwill store to score some books to use with my mixed media projects; I’ve decided to try an altered book project, so the older, more battered the better. I walked out with these –
Before I put them in my shopping bag, I quickly flipped through them, just checking, for what I don’t know. When I got home with them, I looked closer and found that 1) the Manet is entirely in French and 2) the little blue book of verses has beautifully aged pages, just what I was hoping for, with a print date of 1953. See?
I also noticed this
Suddenly, I saw this book not as potential mixed media material but a book that had been read and maybe loved, read enough to be marked up, with notes written in the margins. What happened to this book? Why did it end up where it did? Whose book was it? How many hands had it passed through before mine? Now, I don’t see it as a secondhand book, something to be repurposed; now, it’s a Book with a capital B, something to wonder about, something precious and “vintage” instead “secondhand”. I may not be able to repurpose or alter this book because of how I see it now. On the other hand, though, eventually becoming art (however amateurish) may be just what this book was destined to be. Who knows?
One quick question: Is it odd to think of books as living things, with histories and destinies?
Books, books, books. It was not that I read so much. I read and reread the same ones. But all of them were necessary to me. Their presence, their smell, the letters of their titles, and texture of their leather bindings. Collette