the bookness of books

My friend and creative collaborator Suzanne Fox and I try to take a few hours off on the last Friday of the month and we inevitably end up at one or another Barnes & Nobles. We walk in, grab a basket, and head in our separate directions with a plan to meet in the café in about an hour.

Usually our baskets are full way before the hour is up, so we’ll grab a coffee or a piece of quiche and pile our books on the table.

I tend to be quite promiscuous in my book-grabbing and -piling and -reading but during our last outing, I came across this exquisite gem and had eyes for no other.

500 books

500 Handmade Books: Inspiring Interpretations of a Timeless Form is part of the 500 Series from Lark Books.

Within the art community, there is an ongoing discussion about what constitutes a book: what is that elemental “bookness” that without it, makes an object something other than a book.

Here is what Steve Miller, one of the jurors, said about their selection criteria:

“…in order to quality, a piece had to demonstrate what we call ‘bookness,’ meaning that it had to operate like a book, opening up and presenting a sequence or potential sequence of images, words, or ideas.”

The books featured selected are from the best bookmakers currently working, including the teacher who introduced me to artist books: Sas Colby. Some of these books push the boundaries of tradition, some are solidly grounded within it. All are brilliantly conceived and exquisitely crafted.

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  1. By ode to book-as-object – Shoebox Stories on December 1, 2010 at 11:43 am

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