Maybe your books were damaged beyond repair. Maybe the second hand book store wasn’t interested in books you took to trade because they already have a lot of the same book. Maybe you’ve got a lot of books with outdated information. However you come across books which no longer have a real use as books, like old phone books, there’s a way to repurpose them and turn them into book art.
Artists and crafts people and all round generally creative and thrifty people have turned old books into everything from chairs, shelving, birdhouses, sculptures and fashion accessories. The book art sculpture is appealing to me. I love the ideas for folding pages into new shapes. I also like how the whole book can be use in a new way. Not just repurposed, but completely re-imagined. In all, an old book can be given a new purpose.
At times it is a bit sad to see the title of an old hard cover book, now repurposed into someone’s handbag, all the pages scooped out like a Halloween jack-o-lantern. But, I cheer myself up by looking for another copy of the same book for sale on eBay or at the book stores I can see what else the author wrote and if they are still around writing new books to come. So even though that one book is no longer available for a good read, there are more out there for the finding.
Sometimes I see a lot of book art and I like to look at it, I’m glad to have seen it… once. What happens to it beyond that? What purpose was it given beyond the one time interest in seeing it? I think this is the mistake a lot of people make with book art. It’s not really upcycling or repurposing in a real way if it isn’t practical as well as creative. A lot of book art doesn’t seem to have a real future ahead of it. If you consider buying something wouldn’t you want to still need it a week, a year, or longer? It’s too sad to see book art which may be fascinating or beautiful in the moment but will just become clutter to be gotten rid of somewhere down the road.