Beautiful pictures, but for those who are cringing, I highly recommend reading the comments below this paragraph. I was sitting and clutching my heart a little bit while looking at the photos, but once I read the explanation, it made me feel a lot better and a lot less stressed about seeing this pictures. (Also, as usual, let me know if you need a transcription of what the images look like. I won’t always say it, but it is always okay to ask.)
these are beautiful, but why would you ever do this to a book?
Okay this is something I have to answer because as a bookseller, as a bookseller working in a used bookstore, this is something I have to deal with daily. People get mad at me or express something like profound disappointment when I indicate that we recycle what we can’t use, and some of that recycling is the employees using books to make art and/or crafts like purses, buttons, collages, jewelry, etc.
You know why we do it? Because we love books. We recycle them so they can be made into new books by a company that we pay to do exactly that. We make them into art because sometimes there is nothing else you can do with them and the thought of just getting rid of them seems like a waste.
You may love books and hate to see them “destroyed,“ but tell me what you, personally, are going to do with a full set of Encyclopedia Britannica from 1994? That’s 26 books of outdated information. When you have a stack of Twilight books that is literally two feet tall, is it really absolutely necessary to preserve the integrity of their bookiness? Or might it be more worthwhile to give them a second life? As a new book, as art, as something other than an object that takes up space in a store where we need as much as possible to sell the books you love and that we love too. I wouldn’t do this to, say, the Gutenberg Bible or a first edition Virginia Woolf, but something we see several times a day every day? Art is a pretty good fate for an otherwise unsaleable book.
No one is asking you to make incredible mountain ranges out of the books you love. But please consider that same love might have something to do with why people make the things they do out of books.
^that explanation is so perfect