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The Library

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” – Jorge Luis Borges (Argentinian Poet and Essayist, 1899-1986)

My boyfriend is a staunch bibliophile. He refuses to partake in the e-book craze and much prefers the feel of bent paper, dog eared pages, and leather-bound tomes. He loves to display his finished books on a shelf as a trophy in a case – earned and conquered. Our apartment has books in every room. We have them in our kitchen for cooking, we have them in our living room for coffee table displays, we have them on our bar cart touting our favorite reads for conversational purposes, in our bedroom they line the two, ceiling height bookcases and surround us with favorite fairytales and folklore, the office is a strict nonfiction and “how-to” zone. Even in our bathrooms, books are kept on shelves, and hidden magazine racks so that we can always have access to the written word!

Aside from spreading knowledge in the days of Gutenberg, books are now used for a bevy of purposes not strictly educationally related. Books, because of their price and rarity, at one point were considered sacred. Now a book is ubiquitous, indeed, some are for sale as low at $0.25 a piece at local Salvation Army’s and Goodwills. Because of their inexpensive and often outdated status, I will be the first to say “it is OK to deface a book”.

Two years ago at The Museum of Arts and Design on Columbus Circle in NYC I saw an exhibition titled Slash: Paper Under The Knife (October 7, 2009 – April 4, 2010).  It highlighted the resurgence of crafting with paper, and particularly using books as the facade of a diorama or the canvas of a scene. One artist, Noriko Ambe, impressed me the most:

‘artists who make pieces, artists who do books’ from the cutting book series with ed rushca, 2008 by Noriko Ambe

“A Thousand of Self” by Noriko Ambe

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