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If you follow the idea of an e-book revolution through to the end, it’s possible to imagine a house where this is the bookshelf:

My New Yorkers are in a virtual pile now

Even though I love my Kindle (and really need to read those New Yorkers one of these days), the thought of only having an e-reader for my book collection makes me uneasy. Like many book-lovers, I’m attached to the physical form, and I’ve often had a hard time explaining it. Once someone tells you they don’t find the smell of musty paper and glue delectable, your main card’s played, right?

Enter Literary Publications, one of my classes this semester. We are focusing on books that are so beautiful that they become a work of art in and of themselves–and we’ll be learning to make our own! For a taste, here’s a book the professor made that she brought in to show us:

A very unusual book made by Jenny O'Grady. Love the wing "pages."

The wings have poems sewn into them about migration–one wing for the trip north, and the other for the trip south.

The idea of homing in on books is a happy one. In my apartment, my TV shelf has all kinds of cubbies in it for knickknacks or DVDs. Most of the cubbies have at least one book–paperback dystopian novels, the lovely green fabric-bound photo album that holds my trips to Nain and Spain, and writing books. My bedroom holds my poetry collection (2 dozen books and counting), picture books from my childhood, old copies of Jane Eyre or The Pickwick Papers, short story collections bought on a whim, and a teetering stack of library books by my bed. What I can’t wait to do is add my own creations to this collection, books that are as sculptural as literary. Check this out:

Fleur, by the amazing Beatrice Coron

The assignment this week? Make a “magic book.” Looking at book artists like Beatrice Coron, Laura Davidson, Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord, and Dineke McLean, I’m wondering if there’s anything but.

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