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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.
mood: thoughtful
music: The Sundays—My Finest Hour



I have had the same thought, as a librarian I have to!
But many of my online friends find it a very satisfying hobby and they do make beautiful things. I just wouldn't be able to get into it.

Injuring the books through reading (dogears, margin notes, etc) is fine I think, but that is where I draw the line personally.

(All of our books at home have call numbers spine labels and are arranged in Library of Congress Classification system)

I couldn't bring myself to make an altered book out of a real book, any book. Hell, I don't even dogear pages in old pocket books.

And I'm appalled that someone would think that they could make something more beautiful than an unaltered book of Albrect Duhrer's work.

However, there is an alternative: there are shops I've seen online that sell plain books for the purposes of altering. Clothbound, hardcover books with plain white pages that you can do anything to. In essence, one of those 'blank books.' That, I have no problem with.

Okay, THAT's an alternative I could do: the already-blank book. I guess people must either remove a lot of pages or glue a bunch together, otherwise the sheer number of pages must be awfully intimidating. I have to confess, Gale, that I'm having a hard time getting around to reading the books I borrowed from you, because I'm scared of inadvertently breaking their spines! LOL!

*laugh* I'm sure you won't (break their spines, that is).

I think they do glue a bunch of pages together, also because you can do things with windows and inserting deeper three-dimensional elements. But I haven't done one yet.

I too have an almost sacred respect for books (bordering on the slightly obsessional, some would say). So I can't imagine "altering" them in any way. But I do have to say that the one done by jes6ica was strikingly beautiful. I think putting your own book together is a great idea.

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

I like that: "I allow interaction in something that might have remained closed and forgotten otherwise." :)

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Feeling generous? Be my guest!

I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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