Home > Uncategorized > The “future of books”–as props?!

The “future of books”–as props?!

It took me 5 days to get around to reading Rob Walker’s article in last Sunday’s NYT Magazine.  It’s called “Creative New Uses for Books” in the web edition; “Shelf Expression” in the print edition that was delivered to my driveway before I woke up Sunday morning.  (How much longer will that happen? I must remember to pause and appreciate that newspaper-in-the-driveway moment of tasting the weather, letting the dog poke around off leash, and seeing what’s happening in the neighborhood before the newspaper and the radio compete to reveal what’s happening in the world.)

So back to the uses of books.  Uses, that is, that don’t involve reading.  Cut them up, use them in construction, tear off the cover and use just the pages, tear out the pages and use just the cover…  Apparently Restoration Hardware sells a “retro book stack.”  I think I’ve got a few “retro book stacks,” thank you very much.  Not that I’d part with them. 

I think I’ll save this article for when I teach Gatsby.  His books are props; this article gives a nice, contemporary slant on that phenomenon.  I guess in some sense we all use books for props.  They reveal things to visitors who care to browse, they provide color (or clutter), and in some sense remind us where we’ve been, and even who we are.  I’m a little shocked by the idea of buying book with no intent of reading them, but then again, is it so different when I buy books and never fulfill my intent to read them? 

Should I save the print version of this article?  Or should I just bookmark the link and move on?

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,
  1. Donna Ladkin
    August 17, 2010 at 6:43 am

    Hey T!
    Sorry it’s been so long since I checked out your blog. Tis been busy – but now Robin and I are on holiday for two weeks. I’m not supposed to be on the computer but I had to check something else and decided to check out your blog.
    Appropo of that, I’m thinking of actually having a bit of a ‘book purge’ —and trying to think of the perfect person to send books I won’t look at again to.
    Have you read ‘What is the What?’ by Dave Eggers? Not Arabic but a very moving story of one of the Sudanese ‘Walking Boys’.

    Gotta run

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