I pull apart books so they can continue to live and enrich others with their grace and beauty.
A book on a shelf does nothing for anyone. I mean, really. The *idea* of a vast personal library is lovely and all, but ... really? It is only when the book is opened, read, admired, studied that it is being "used". And how many books can one have open at a single time?
And, as much as everyone saaaaaays they love books ... how large is your library? How often do you open the odd volume?
If I am to cut into a volume, I will read the book first, if I'm able. And there are many times where the volume with which I'm working is completely un-read-able.
The final understanding of what I do came to me at a church bazaar a number of years ago. They had a table stacked high with books for sale. All donated by well-meaning people, wanting to help raise funds for the church.
I'll be the first to admit that I cannot pass by these sales. I'm completely, emotionally and physically incapable of passing them by.
At this particular and very dramatic flea market, I found books stacked tremendously high on the cafeteria folding tables ~ browsing through the titles, one after another, I discovered that the books were sealed shut from moisture and gruesome mold. Those good people running the market either didn't care the donated books were glued shut or, really what would be worse, they didn't notice.
On one particular selling site (a site from which I'm slowly divesting my goods), it's become the hipster kewl thing to create listings of group books together and sold as "room decor". Like everything else on that site, books have become a 'faux' style.
So, I no longer take the anonymous accusations to heart. When a book comes to me which can no longer claim to be accurate or current or it has damaged 'bones' ... I don't think twice about reducing the book to its parts and allowing those parts to become art supplies or decor or artistic inspiration.
And so ... this is where I am with this book. I’ve already mentally set aside a good two dozen chromolithographs which I'll keep. And I'll take some photographs of the book, complete and untouched, first.
I always keep the Frontispiece, whenever possible. But the rest ... ? Tomorrow, my trusty X-acto and I will free the beauty that is within this book.
I've begun listing them in Le Petit Poulailler on Zibbet, here.