Friday, 8 November 2013

Book Art

      I am a book, and it has to be said that printed books are being persecuted since the advent of the e-book. I understand the evolutionary concept that the strong must survive while the weak will perish, but we, the books, have been around, in printed form since William Caxton invented the printing press in 1415, and for hundreds of years before that as illuminated manuscripts, while our ancestors, the scrolls, have been around for thousands of years. Should we be cast aside after so many years of faithful service to humanity?
  I can't help but notice the increasing amounts of book art displayed on social websites.  Let's be honest they're really rather clever, but the bookworm inside of me can't help but think that destroying books, in the name of art, is a sacrilege. HG Wells didn't write War of the Worlds as an origami project, nor did Arthur Conan Doyle conceive The Hound of the Baskervilles so that it could be converted into a popup book.
     The other kind of abuse I've noticed, is the placing of books to form a sculpture, books floating in the air, or used as stepping stones across a field. Books used to make igloos or arched supports for ceilings. When did books become building blocks? Now I have the highest regard for bricks, they've been around for almost as long as books, and perform a valuable service, but come on, someone has spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours constructing a story, or explaining a phenomenon, books  should be read and digested, not walked upon or used to build Wendy houses. Artists, go back to your paints and clay, your stone and marble, your unmade beds and preserved wildlife in formaldehyde, and leave us books alone. Readers, demand a real book, not a text message, when we are gone we are gone, and I guarantee we will be missed. Remember that the vinyl record was replaced by the tape cassette; remember how well that turned out.

This was a party political broadcast on behalf of the Real Book Foundation.

1 comment:

  1. however funny the sculpturs and installations made of printed books were, in the pictures, which I happened to see, it's so painful for me to see the works of art. It's like book burning. I have much against this kind of usage, though I use ebooks mainly, in my everyday life.