My dad taught me to never throw a book away. He never worked in a used book store.
When you come across a travel guide to Spain from 1987, or a Lance Armstrong bio championing his secrets to success or a Windows 95 for Dummies… you can throw that sh*t away. (Well, you should recycle it, actually – it’s just paper.) Unless… art. Book art is actually a huge thing. We have some book sculptures in and around the store: flying books, book architecture, etc.. Here is more of that next level reanimation…
You can go huge, like Long-Bin Chen.
You can go crazy, like Jodi Harvey-Brown. (The cover of this post features her work.)
Julia Strand is somewhere in between.
As each of these artists says, don’t freak out that they’re “destroying” books. They choose very carefully, and would not even be doing this if it were not for a deep and abiding affection for the little buggers. This is a second life: a plant that shoots up little blooms as it dies; the flourish of the fireworks show (… that sends a spark into a nearby field lighting it a-fire); a retiree becoming a crossing guard, not only to help children cross the street but to teach them how. This art is a teacher that says “Look at all the incredible things inside even a single book.”
If you have some Elmer’s glue, one dollar for a book from our Labyrinth, and an exacto knife (or maybe a Sawzall and $50 for 50 books, if you’re going the Long-Bin Chen route), you got yourself a new art hobby.