This New York Times article (“Creative New Uses for Books“) sufficiently piqued my interest —
“Set aside any emotional attachment you may feel toward the reading of physical books; the truth is that creative uses for books that do not involve engaging with words on a page already abound.”
Some uses might be better than others. I rather like the book planter idea myself. Life growing out of the “dead tree books” and all that. (Pictured, Left. Courtesy of inhabitat: “How to make a beautiful book planter“)
More and more lately, I can’t help but notice seeing books showing up in high end, trendy types of fashion stores. Does this mean books are fashionable? Will I finally be cool?
The book-as-prop is an odd concept to me. Books meant to be seen, but not read. Hmm. Anyways, more on this from NYT:
“Nicholson Bakerâ€™s insightful, and still-relevant, 1995 New Yorker essay, â€œBooks as Furniture.â€ That article started out by considering the way books functioned as props in mail-order catalogs and went on to deliver a thorough history of book display. Unlike other collectibles, books â€œrepresent a different order of plenitude,â€ … But even if books become unnecessary to imply a surplus of mind-leisure time, they are now functioning like catalog props in real life.
For $29, Restoration Hardware will sell you an antiqued uncovered book bundle. What appears to be a cubic page clump is described this way: â€œLiberated from their covers, stitched and bound with jute twine, the foxed and faded pages of old books become objets dâ€™art.â€ Various small merchants on Etsy.com arenâ€™t so fancy about making the same argument. One called Adoption Agency offers a â€œretro book stackâ€ â€” i.e., four old books â€” for $14.”
I wouldn’t pay $25 for it either (plus, it’s cheaper to do it yourself), but I love the symbolism of a hollowed-out, no longer readable print and ink book being used to protect an ereader: