Reverence for books used to be so deeply ingrained that deaccessioning books from the library collection was a challenge. We had to slip them out of the building in sealed boxes or risk outrage that we were âgetting rid of perfectly good books!â People proudly brought in ratty books with our library identification, ignoring their sorry condition and âWithdrawnâ stamp.
Shortly after the introduction of the first Kindle, I first noticed a shift in respect for the book as object when I began spotting them glued together and shellacked to make lamps and coffee tables. âBook artâ has taken on a new meaning; now it sometimes refers to the new craft of transforming books into sculptural objects and stationery items.
The Amazon description for Book Art: Creative Ideas to Transform Your Books, for example, asks,
Do you have a shelf of old books that you love, but rarely touch? Well why not give them a new lease on life and use them to create one of the 35 beautiful projects [the author] has developed?â
And recently on Amazon I ran across Artfolds, classic works in gift book editions that come with instructions for folding the pages to form a three dimensional word.