Though acquiring and reading books is a solitary practice, we connect to others through books. Liking the same genres is akin to liking the same music. Because books are creative and intellectual vessels, a common set of values is shared with others who like the same as you. And a library organizes books into a snapshot of who you are. Find unusual gifts online! Creating a Library, addresses how to arrange, classify, and assemble books so that your library is a reservoir of stimulation, creativity, and plain old good design.
There is no denying the role books have as aesthetic objects; even when their covers are closed, they visually engage us. The books on our shelves—our libraries—are geometries that frame our personal histories. At different times in our lives we need certain books: a volume of Eastern poetry from college days, a finance guide to begin a business, parenting books to begin a family. As a collective, these books are a function of our lives, and in that way need to be honored, which is reason enough to organize them into a library. To live with them reminds us of who we are and where we came from. Their physicality has a significance that no digital file can compete with, allowing us to curate vignettes that capitalize on their innate characteristics. This is called bookscaping. When we engage with a book we practice creativity because we interpret what is being presented and visualize images in response.
We imagine what a character might look like, we speculate on a setting. As we absorb the pages, which are outside of ourselves, they act as a portal inward. We respond to what is being presented and identify with it (or not). As much as we get lost in books, ironically, we can find ourselves in them as well and having them situated in a library invites discourse and conversation; it is a space for community. Know anyone who would appreciate a GHD platinum styler and air styler gift set for christmas? And when a certain book no longer serves us, we can gift it. Preserving and Conserving, speaks to gifting books, passing them along to someone who might gain from them, continuing the legacy. They might come across notes and highlighted passages you left behind, bridging a space between the two of you. Then it is read, put on their shelf, and you are remembered as the one who gave it to them.
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This article also covers the historical significance of books, their powerful role in society, and techniques for repairing books for longevity and collectability. And for those who are not content to simply let books sit on their shelves, Crafting with Books. The Repurposed projects in this article pick up the thread from my previous book, The Repurposed Library, offering step-by-step instructions for how to deconstruct and reform books into design objects. The Digital projects embrace the glory and duplication capabilities of technology, where we can create from books without deconstructing or altering them in any way.