Altered book

I have a confession to make.  Books are sacred to me.  I don’t like to write in them, I am careful not to damage them, I honor them.  I collect blank notebooks, sketch pads and journals and have to force myself to write in them, because they are so lovely and pristine and perfect the way they are.

Here is my stash–

It really is a sickness.  These are just waiting for me.  Waiting for me to mess with their perfect emptiness.

So, I read a book that I loved/hated.  It’s called Hope: a Tragedy, by Shalom Auslander.  I loved the look inside someone’s mind–a mind set on misery and self-destruction and obsessive thoughts and a crazy mom. He continuously ponders his last words on earth.  He predicts what others are saying about him, and it is all bad.  He gets nervous if things are too peaceful.  He makes lists of what he will need if another Holocaust comes about.  He feels badly that he brought a beautiful son into such a horrific world.  It goes on and on, brilliantly.

It exaggerates (in some places, a lot…in some places, only a smidge) what I do to myself and ways I make myself miserable.  It did it in a way that I could laugh and point and say, “Hey dummy, quit doing that!” because it was so obvious.  But I hated some of the plot elements.  There were parts that were kinda gross.  The ending actually made me angry.  So I can’t recommend the book solely as a read.  But I think it has a lot of important points in it.

So I have had to give myself permission to buy a brand new book and purposefully mar it.  It’s killing me.  I hope it is going to get easier as I go along.

The original cover.  I will wait to see how it evolves before I address the cover.

Without the dust cover.  I already smeared a little white paint on it to make it not so perfect, just to get me started.

So here is my first page.  I don’t know how long it will take to alter this whole book–how it will look or what will be the final product, but it is a challenge for me and will teach me many things.  I am looking forward to it, and I will share what comes of it on this blog, as I go.

The page says:  “We were liberated from death, from the fear of death, but then the fear of life started.”  H. Rosensaft, Yesterday, My story.  Which is the original page.  I used gel medium to transfer the skeleton page from an anatomy book and added the stamped words and the calligraphy.  I scuffed the edges with black ink and added the leaf stickers.  I am happy with this first page, but I still feel a little guilty…trying to get over it…

I hope you like it!

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~ by collidescopes on October 25, 2012.

3 Responses to “Altered book”

  1. Wow, I have such similar sentiments about books, just like you. I have painted on pages which I tore from old books (still feeling guilty and bit excited) and have other plans to alter books, but could not bring myself to follow through on them. Not yet. Congratulations on getting started and thank you for sharing these thoughts and your ‘guilty’ secret with us – at least that way, I know that I am not alone 🙂

  2. […] In this post, I started a project altering a book.  Just thought I would give you an update.  If you recall, I read a book that I loved/hated.  It’s called Hope: a Tragedy, by Shalom Auslander.  I loved the look inside someone’s mind–a mind set on misery and self-destruction and obsessive thoughts and a crazy mom.  I didn’t necessarily love all of the plot elements.  It exaggerates (in some places, a lot…in some places, only a smidge) what I do to myself and ways I make myself miserable.  It taught me a lot. […]

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