I've spent the morning looking up altered books on the web, and I must say I don't know whether to be intrigued or appalled. I guess I have a deeply ingrained feeling that books should not be harmed or destroyed or "hurt" and some of the things I've seen are perilously close to all three. On one hand, I can see the attraction in taking an old, unloved, unread book that is headed to the dump and using it as an artistic background, but a great deal of the altered book examples I saw used famous, worthy, classic books. One altered book used The Scarlet Letter. One woman had altered pages in The Art of Albrecht Dürer with this comment: "To make a more visually pleasing (in my opinion) painting I covered up all the horrible stuff..." !!!
I've seen some pieces that were truly visually stunning, lovely, and fun and would be wonderful to have around to look at and touch. I guess my question is: why use a book at all (other than for inspiration, I mean)? Why not start from scratch and put your OWN book together?
All of these things inspire me to get creative, but I'm not sure I'd destroy a book, even one I wouldn't bother reading, to do it. Being the book fiend/friend that I am, it seems to border on my own personal form of sacrilege. Awfully ironic coming from someone who regularly dogears and breaks spines.