Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Book Art: Embrace It or Hate It?

Book Art is a thing now.  Folding books into artwork, cutting through the cover and the pages to create 3D images, tearing and cutting out pages and using them for sculptures, and drawing on, painting on, or somehow altering those pages.  If you're not sure of what I'm talking about, check out pinterest and you can see tons of images of book art--ones you can purchase even. Here are a couple of examples I found.

At first I'm always in awe of how someone took so much time and created something so intricate out of something else.  And then I cringe.  What book did they use?  I think of a girl somewhere who has no books of her own who may have loved to delve into that book, hold it in her hands, smell it.  It could have gone to her.  Or a boy who loves to learn about everything and read everything, but doesn't have the money to buy all the books he wants.  He could have read that one.  Because obviously no one wanted it to read.  They altered it so that it could no longer be read.

I realize that there are ebooks and digital is the way our world is going...but I can't go along with this.  How do you build a love of reading in a child?  Not through a device.  A device is impersonal and separate.  It has movies and songs and apps and so many other things to distract.  Holding a book in your hands, though, you can shut out the world--all of it.  A kid can bury their nose deep in that book and not come out until they've discovered something new.  It's a physical act of holding a page and turning it in their hands, touching the pages. But we're now using books as if they are just found objects with no other worth anymore so that they have to be created into something beautiful.  Weren't they already beautiful?  And so interactive.

I'm sad when I see book art.  It makes me sad that books aren't as valuable and precious as they once were.

What do you think about book art?  I'm sure I have a few book art lovers out there.  What is the draw for you?

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