10 January 2012

There is no cure for bibliophilia

The San Francisco Calamity by Earthquake and Fire


The library gets so many wonderful book donations. And while most of them are intended for the semiannual Friends of the Library Used Book Sale, some of them have become just too deteriorated to sell and so they are sent to Creafill to be recycled. Of course, we library employees get to take a first look through these even before they are handed over to the Friends; and in this way, I have managed to snag a few (very old) battered books with broken, rotted spines but absolutely beautiful covers that are relatively intact. Newer books just aren't made with this sort of care and skill anymore. These hard covers will have fantastic illustrations engraved into the fabric covering the book board, the titles printed in fabulously decorative fonts. Like any good bibliophile, I couldn't bear to see these books thrown out or even recycled. These covers are ART.

The Red Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
So when I come across a book that meets these requirements, one that has a cover that affects me in some way, I bring it home. I pull out my trusty exacto-knife and separate the beautiful cover from its malignant body. Then I search through my stores of vintage fabrics to find a good pairing with the newly liberated book cover. When I find the fabric I want, I cut the appropriate size of it and glue it to the back board of a picture frame as a sort of reverse matting. Then I center the book cover on this fabric covered board and glue it in place. Once I put the mounted cover behind the glass of the frame, it is a piece of art ready to be hung on my wall. 

I love these guys.



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