‘Tis the season for DIY, be it neatly arranging homemade cookie ingredients in a mason jar to give to Susan in HR or making a magical snow globe out of one of those lovely old “boob light covers” (trust me, it’s an actual thing). One of my favorites though, are the Christmas trees that I’ve been seeing that are made from stacked books wrapped in a string or two of lights. This idea seems like a fairly fool-proof endeavor with the exception, possibility, and very real probability of your fur babies King Kong-ing the whole thing. Nevertheless, the tree can be made by simply moving and arranging your lovely books into the general shape of a tree/cone/pyramid and throwing some lights on it, no real harm done.
But it does beg the question: How far are you willing to go when it comes to book art—rather, art made of and from books? I’ve seen some really cool ideas out there, but my God, people are cutting, carving and tearing pages out of “good” books to create these DIY marvels. Could you do it? Have you, and if so was it worth it?
I know what constitutes a “good” book is truly an ambiguous idea, but surely I am not the only one who finds these projects just a little cringe inducing. I’m not saying we need to approach and handle our books as if they are all rare antiquarian masterpieces, but I will be the first to admit that a friend who borrows a book and returns it dog-eared, with a mystery scratch, crinkle, or stain, is no longer a friend. Just like some of the aforementioned artists’ techniques, I will straight cut you (from my metaphorical circle)…or, at the very least, you should know that you’re not going to be borrowing any of my books for a while—possibly eternity, depending on the number and size of the dog ears, scratches, stains, and crinkles.
Presently, I’ve decided that if I want to make a wreath of rolled book pages or cleverly hide an unsightly cable box or wireless router with a book jacket, it’s going to have to be from an outdated auto mechanics manual or some other sort of text on mathematics from the ’70s that I pick up from Goodwill. Oh, it’ll be classy for sure.