Saturday, August 10, 2013

Books and Crafts--Is It Destruction or Love? (Discussion)

Recently, as part of my last topic for the 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge, I had to name a book that I’d been frustrated with enough to throw across the room--whether out of anger, disgust, frustration, heartbreak, or whatever it may have been. I’d picked a book that had been still weighing on my mind the last few months from mostly anger and disgust due to the characters, not having actually thrown it though, but did mention that I’d had an intense desire for some time to shred the book to pieces. I also didn’t do that. I ended up boxing it up with some of my other books, which will likely be donated at a later time to a local shelter I regularly visit or I may use it in a giveaway on the blog sometime later this year if anyone is actually interested.

Afterward this had me thinking though. I love perusing sites like Pinterest and Etsy. I adore looking at the interesting crafts that some people have created out of various items. But something else has caught my attention the past few years… Crafting from real books. And well frankly, I’m a little on the fence with this particular idea. Check some of these out (and links/credits if possible are provided as well):

Personally, I’m not completely against it. But I’m not all for them either. I like some. I hate some. It depends. There are those I feel could go a different route than using real books/book pages, and it would be better. Some might go too far--like the one example up there with the books and the letters that are folded from the pages. That is just a quirk perhaps though, kind of like dog-earing (and I would call that dog-earing to the extreme)? I shudder looking at those because of my pet-peeve with folded down pages, though I understand they’re not terrible because the pages could be unfolded and returned to a somewhat normal state in order for the books to be read if the person chose. The shoes I admit are adorable. I’ve also seen them in comic book style, and would rather have those if I could, BUT I hate that they’re using real pages from the books according to what I read. Why not find a way to print a page from somewhere? Maybe from a purchased e-copy, or if you can find a free sample page online that’s worthy of use? In my opinion, I find this might be a better alternative anyway. Or perhaps anyone who has done any of these types of crafts (like the shoes) can explain to me a bit better on how it works. The information I’d read about the comic book shoes said it was from vintage comics, and this unnerves me in some ways. I only offer some suggestions above to alternatives, however at the same time, I’m not entirely opposed to any of the crafts and would be likely to purchase something for myself or someone in the future. It would just have to depend on the product and how the seller created it, I guess.

When book purses first became popular, I’d heard a lot of controversy surrounding them. A lot of bad in the beginning until they were explained better… and I also started to understand them a little better and did more research. Most of the designers that make them do not just shred the inside of the book and take the hardcover for the craftwork. Most carefully remove the pages and make a new cover for them so they’re still in excellent condition, though not with original cover. And while it stinks they won’t have an original cover to the next reader that picks it up, at least that reader is still getting to read that book, while another person is carrying a pretty awesome accessory/showing off their love of said book. So book purses: definitely thumbs up to those from me anyway. Prices? Maybe not so much. Bahaha. I’d be willing to splurge for a birthday or holiday though if I really wanted.

Shortly after I’d finished The Dark Heroine (book mentioned in that previous post as mentioned at the start) and had hated it so much to almost want to destroy it, I’d been given a suggestion by someone I know to use it for crafting. And I do admit that I’d taken it into consideration for a brief moment. I like making crafts and painting and drawing. I probably could’ve done something with nearly five hundred pages. And the paperback cover is pretty at the very least. The thought could still cross a book-lover’s mind, right? Get so disgusted by a book that you just want to turn it into something pretty to make you happy again. And it doesn’t have to be a disliked book either. Of course, I’d love tons of things in Harry Potter or Vampire Academy or Wuthering Heights or Wicked Lovely… well, you get the idea. Favorites. It would be my money anyway, right? And supporting authors, by going out and buying several copies of their books. Some for reading, some for making into pretty things. However, not everyone agrees crafting with books should be okay. To some bookworms, books should stay books. Not projects. Books should never be part of the wall, or a lamp shade, or a shoe, or a purse, or made into flowers and hearts.


A couple of bloggers I’d chatted with recently made some comments on the subject as well.

Kate, a blogger at Finding Bliss in Books said, “I’ve never had a problem with it. It would be hard to see a rare edition destroyed, though.” And also, I just thought this was sweet (and though it’s a bit off-topic), she added that her husband had proposed by having her ring hidden in a hollowed-out book. Hollowed-out books HAVE been a thing around for some years, and I don’t think I’d ever stopped to even consider them, what they once were, or if they’d been specifically created like that to be honest. My mother owned a couple when I was growing up to hide special jewelry and priceless family items among our real books.

Another blogger, Cassi from Galavanting Girl Books on the subject: “I like looking at them, but don’t think I could destroy a book myself for crafts.”

“I think it’s awesome! Turning old books into a new art form is like the best homage you can pay to books that would otherwise sit on a shelf collecting dust,” says Kelly at PaperFantasies, an obvious supporter of book crafts and desires to have a book purse in her near future. Her choice of cover for the purse? Daughter of Smoke & Bone. Which wasn’t a surprise to me, seeing as how that’s a favorite book for both of us. Ha.


This can be a touchy subject. But I’ve noticed over the last few months that the whole “book craft” scene doesn’t seem as controversial as it’d been when I started blogging two and half years ago. Most of the input received so far has been generally positive. Perhaps readers are evolving and seeming to appreciate the projects a bit more. Or learning to just accept that they’ll be there. I’m interested in your thoughts, too. Can someone still be called a book-lover if they’re ripping books to shreds for projects and crafts? Or does it mean they love books just as equally, if not more, because they’re using them in an artistic manner along with their reading? Have you done any craft-work with books yourself? If not, would you ever? Share in the comments!

Thank you for visiting!

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