The Written Image: Playing With Books


Books are more than pages, board, glue, and thread—they are artifacts of the human spirit and hand," writes bookbinder Jason Thompson in Playing With Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book, published by Quarry Books in April. In the art book and craft guide, Thompson urges readers to consider not only the nuanced beauty of a fine volume, but also the potential of books that might otherwise be dismissed, discarded, or sent to the dreaded remainder pile. The image below, a sculpture by U.K. artist Su Blackwell, is one of the works by thirty-three artists

showcased in the new book; others include kinetic sculptures made out of clothbound classics, a gown of deconstructed telephone directories, and a papier-mâché archipelago of pulped pages. In the main section of the book, Thompson focuses on how readers can repurpose their own collections—beginning with an introduction to the anatomy of a book; an inventory of recommended tools; and the basics of paper cutting, laminating, folding, rolling, beading, and decoupage. There are also detailed instructions for a variety of projects ranging from the practical (a hardcover clock, a book-jacket billfold) to the whimsical (a spray of book blossoms, tiny paper houses).