Says Thomas about this project: “The final book sculpture of my major project series. Like the previous two sculptures it uses a visual metaphor to convey the emotions of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and embodies my research by visualising an expression used by a sufferer of OCD. The expression was ‘derailing my train of thought’, because the person felt that the rituals they had to perform were disrupting their day. Where the compulsions and worry would side track them from doing everyday activities.
To convey this metaphor the sculpture shows a train travelling on a journey that has become disrupted, leading it to derail from its set path. Typography was used on the tracks for the title of the piece, also type was used for the coal. In the scene it shows the coal cart tipping over where the type has become mixed up to symbolise the mixed emotions during anxiety and panic”.
Bound in black goat leather covered boards, with feathered endpaper treatments to give impression of a raven in flight. Binding is 10” x 12” & is designed to be able to be displayed as a free standing work of art.
Six thickly bound books make up this typical block of Philadelphia row homes, reflecting my interest in the hidden stories of my own neighborhood. In any community there is significance, meaning, and sometimes tension between who lives next to whom, much like books on a shelf. I use the book form as a metaphor, implying that there are stories here. Each carefully embroidered brick begs a closer look, an investigation of those stories. The altered books that comprise the text blocks vary in their content, though the narrative cannot be read from cover to cover. The stories of this community are found in the relationships between the books.
Library book sales (and their descendants, such as Better World Books) are a great institution, but they’re not the only thing libraries can do—or help their patrons do—with obsolete titles besides the dumpster. Here are five creative reuses from real libraries.
Turning them into New Books
In Richmond, VA, The People’s Library is a collaborative art project to create 100 handmade books of personal history. The Richmond Public Library helped collect discarded books to be recycled into paper, then bound into books with prompts inside them. They’ll be added to the library’s permanent collection, and patrons can check them out and respond to the prompts.
Turning them into Art
In Bath, England, the library found a new use for weeded books that don’t sell. Patrons collect a book and turn it into an art contest entrywith the help, if they like, of a series of library workshops. The resulting art projects are exhibited at the central library and online and the public votes for their favorites; the winner in each category receives a free ereader.
For 40 years, Georgia’s Hall County Library System has partnered with the National Library Bindery to restore old books and Biblesbelonging to library patrons. Repairs take about two months, and patrons are charged for the service.
Turning Them Into Furniture
An oldie but a goodie: a reference desk made of books in a Dutch library.
Turning Them into Fundraisers
Recycled Reads, the Austin Public Library’s used bookstore, upcycles old books and media into crafts and sells the results.