The book-sacrifice must stop. I think those crafts are pretty, inspiring, and absolutely unjustified. The thing that disturbs me here is not the use of word-filled pages as artistic material. We always incorporated what was considered precious into our artworks, just look at the marble and expensive paint! We also destroyed what was beautiful (and I´m not referring exclusively to Fontcuberta´s Fauna) to offer to our Muse.
The problem lies in what the owner of the book feels when killing his copy : it will be worth more to me once I can do more with it than reading. Or does anyone cry over the victim of that sacrifice? Of course not, we only rip out the pages we consider covered in worthless material. Now here comes my question : when was the last time you read a book that made no addition to your life? Now don´t mention the bad quality of writing and the insulting ideas it contained. Bad reeds can be good for us, in some ways. They shake awake your sense of critical thinking and boost your self-confidence. Seriously. Stephen King talks about this magical moment, when you lye down a read and think : “I can do better than that!”. And here might be the beginning of a new book, maybe even a good one.
Back to your bookshelf : which book do you regret buying, or think you have lived long enough with? Choose one title, and then go back to the moment you laid it down with relief. Would your values be a foundation just as strong if you haven´t read it? Would the belief in your talent? See, the worst reading-experience of your life was really a beneficial one, just for different reasons. Don´t throw away the rock bottom you can go back to when you need to get reassured, it´s precious.
Thank you so much for reading,
Your Vine Vampire
PS : My worst read was a cookbook (now don´t accuse me of breaking the rules here, if you read a little further, you´ll see that it really was falsely labelled fiction). It was entitled “Recettes Végétariennes” (Vegetarian recipes) and featured a palette of side dishes… I wanted to cut the pages out, and certainly not to transform them into an artwork! The insulting underestimating of vegetarian cuisine it represented, and my disbelief as to the fact that something written with no knowledge about the subject (vegetarians don´t live of grass, there is protein involved!) got actually published were just the perfect foundation for dislike. It still stands proudly on the lowest floor of my kitchen shelf. I flip its pages on days when i lack cooking-inspiration : it makes every other recipe instantly look delicious.