I am not one of those people that thinks that every book is sacred. This is one of those touchy subjects, though. I do sort of wonder to what degree the mind instinctively rebels against the phrase “book burning,” and whether or not that rebellion gets interpreted into the idea that every book is magic and untouchable.
It’s definitely a question for our current age.
We haven’t really decided, as a society, whether or not the reverence is for the book as an object or the content of the book.
Which is why you get those people, posting on their blogs about their commitment to the printed page. You get the people that revere the paper, maybe over the meaning. The smell of the object. The weight. But, when it comes right down to it, the vast majority of books are transient. Disposable.
Have you ever looked through the free bin at a library book sale?
99% of it is stuff that no one is ever going to read again. Mass market fiction, well past date—often sexist, and racist, and badly written to boot. Manuals for how to set up your hi-fi system. Cook books for making whole chickens in the microwave.
I post a lot of book art. There’s a lot of book art out there, all of a sudden.
From the interview:
As Kindles have become more popular and there are now downloadable forms of literature, books are going the way of the vinyl record. They are starting to become obsolete.
I enjoy memorializing them in my work and giving them a new life. Otherwise, they would just be thrown out or pulped.
And, invariably, re-purposed books generate comments. Someone on twitter recently said that seeing collages made from vintage children’s books makes her physically ill.
But, “thrown out and pulped” is really the fate of many books. Most books.