In My Day, We Actually Read the Books

I’m just cruising by to bring you a link to another artist using recycled/reclaimed books as a sculpting medium (you probably already know how much I love This Into That). Via Kirstin Butler’s twitterfeed comes the Jardin de la Connaissance, “a unique outdoor library that features living books sown with several varieties of mushrooms” at the 11th International Garden Festival in Métis, Quebec.

Honestly–I’m not sure how I feel about it, especially the open books being used as “cushioned carpets.” There’s this part of me that’s viscerally disturbed at book abuse (which is ironic, since I’ve used books in art projects myself). But here–judge for yourself:

About the author

Sarah Jamila Stevenson is a writer, artist, editor, graphic designer, proofreader, and localization QA tester, so she wears a teetering pile of hats. On any given day, she is very tired. She is the author of the middle grade graphic novel Alexis vs. Summer Vacation, and three YA novels, including the award-winning The Latte Rebellion.


  1. To quote Professor Pelc (the professor of morbid bibliomancy) from Going Postal,

    "All words have some power. We feel it instinctively. Some, like magical spells and the true names of the gods, have a great deal. They must be treated with respect. In Klatch there is a mountain with many caves, and in those caves are entombed more than a hundred thousand old books, mostly religious, each one in a white linen shroud. That is perhaps an extreme approach, but intelligent people have always known that some words at least should be disposed of with care and respect."

    Of course, maybe these books are sports almanacs or self-help books, so don't really have that much value?

  2. Or maybe they were going to be discarded anyway, so they're simply being rescued and given another opportunity at life, albeit with a very different function….and I must say, art does seem like it *could* be a respectful and caring way to dispose of unwanted books.

    I guess it's the sheer number of books that gets to me here–I can't help thinking to myself that SOME of them must be individually worthwhile…

    And then I also wonder, does the art piece suffer any shrinkage by attrition? Is anyone sneaking off with books? I'd be awfully tempted.

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