The Importance of Books

I feel fortunate to have a deep love of books. I grew up around books, and to this day, love the smell of of them, the feel of them, the experience of turning the page not quite knowing what’s to come. I feel like it’s in my DNA to love books. While I was being captivated by my first book binding course over fifteen years ago, I happened to find out that one of my ancestors was a book binder and paper maker in the early 1700’s in New York. Yes, I got chills. It all just felt right. So books, in one form or another, feel like part of me.

research books

I am doing some writing  about my work these days, and pulled these books from my library. The Art Book is a great little tome. Sometimes I like to just open it at random and see what artist I land on. If it’s someone I’m not so familiar with, I go to the web and do a little more research on him/her. If it’s a familiar artist, I may do the same thing, but with more context going it.

Susan Rothenberg is one of my favorite artists. I enjoy the texture and tone in the minimalism of her work. I usually don’t keep to a limited palette myself. It might be a good exercise for me to do again. The third book highlighting women artists through history is, to me, extremely important. Their names are not as well known as their contemporaries, but when you look at their work, it is equally as strong.

used booksLats week I found a used bookstore that I hadn’t been to before. From the outside, it looked to be filled with paperback romance novels, not quite my cup of tea. I was next door looking at a sump pump for the farm, and had some extra time, so I popped in. It turned out that they had a nice section of older books. Here is what I came away with.

The Thesaurus will likely become collage fodder. Yes, I sometimes cut up books! The first few times, it was challenging for me to do. But with careful selection, I now enjoy repurposing supposedly useless books into new forms. The Smithsonian book on the National Museum of the American Indian is being read and will go into my permanent library, as will the library bound copy of Slaughterhouse Five. I haven’t decided about the Currier and Ives book yet. It was published in 1952 and is filled with medium quality reproductions. The text is in a style that could be quite interesting in collage, so this one will remain in limbo for the time being.

Books are important in the development of my art, real physical books, not electronic ones. So used book stores are places of discovery How many of you enjoy wandering through used book stores?

 

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