Book Art: Sacrilege or Savior?


It’s Spring Cleaning time. For many book worms, that means clearing out the shelves to make room for summer reading.

But what do you do with all those dusty old tomes you never read anymore? Do you banish them to a thrift shop, hoping someone falls in love with them? Will anybody ever fall in love with that old 1970s school encyclopedia set? Probably not. So consider something different: upcycle your old darlings—into art.

English blog book sculpture Photo Credit: christwisen via Compfight cc

Everybody’s doing it. Check out one of book art’s movers and shakers in this viral TED talk.

The trend has become a talking point among those who believe digitalization threatens the culture of print books. What happens to old books, especially reference books, once they’re outdated by up-to-the-minute online sources? We hear a lot of despair over the future of “handheld” books, but some creative people are finding unexpected ways to celebrate that legacy. Others believe the celebration is a sacrilege.

Where do you stand? Are you willing to get out your scissors and shadow boxes to celebrate the physical beauty of books? Or should books remain safe on the shelves as they’ve always done—even when they stay unread?

If you’re all for it, try these beginner projects at home to get you started.

PS—Apparently the apocalyptic predictions about book extinction can be put to rest. Even “digital natives” prefer to do their reading the old-fashioned way: in print. Phew!

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