Monday, July 25, 2011

A Bibliophile's Delight: When Damaging Books Is OK

As a librarian, normally I'd be appalled to someone taking sharp objects to books and cutting up precious pages of text and illustrations. However, when I see the work of artists like Brian Dettmer, I see something stunning and beautiful. Far from a vulgar desecration of the written word, these repurposed books have gained new life as visual art:

Music of the World

Altered Vintage Encyclopedias

Altered Copy of Brave New World

New Books of Knowledge

ROTC Manual

Science in the 20th Century

Then there is this video which was produced for the New Zealand Book Council. The animation used to bring this book to life is amazing. And, yes, it looks like they had to cut up a book to make it. But isn't it beautiful?


  1. Wow, that video was so cool.  Sent chills up my spine.  I wish I could have my book trailer look something like that, with the characters and scenery popping up out of the pages.  Alas, my videomaking skills are nowhere near up to scratch.

  2. Isn't it the coolest? It was a production company that put that together too. I'm pretty sure if one person tried to do it it would take forever!

  3. These are amazing, I'd know, I'm an artist ;D

  4. That is an amazing video.  Thanks for sharing.  My blog site is  if you get a chance, check me out!

  5. I definitely will! Thanks for stopping by. 

  6. Hi, Lari!  Thanks for commenting on the Tolkien post on my blog!!  Much appreciated! 

    You know, as a passionate bibliophile, I shouldn't like this kind of thing.  But these piecs just pull me in!!!  They're stunning  : )

  7. They truly are! Totally given a second chance whereas before they were probably wasting away in someone's storage. :)

  8. This reminds me of something an anonymous artist undertook earlier last year, in Scotland. She left beautiful book sculptures all over Edinburgh, in various libraries. Far from being a waste of a good book, they have in fact increased visits to the places they were left, as people were very curious to see them. 

    Nice site, by the way. :) 


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