recycling words

June 24, 2008

I tend to make myself steer clear of giant used-book sales. Due to my avid library usage, there are very few books that I actually have any desire to own. However, I am highly attracted to the sight and feel of old books, especially those that have names and dates scribbled inside the front cover. There’s a mysterious intrigue in flipping through old pages as I imagine the time when they stared back at someone else long ago.

My last visit to a book sale was during one of those last day sales when you only have to pay a fixed price for an entire bag of books. It was a disaster because although I found no pages that I felt compelled to read, I walked away with an entire bag of old, fraying hardcover books, fully equipped with browning pages and signatures etched inside the cover.

I chose my favorite book from that bag to become my new sketch book. I dreamed of drawing on the pages in a way that would make the beauty of the printed words apparent. My pictures never quite turned out as I hoped, but this made it all the more exciting when I saw the Recycled Words artwork of Will Ashford. He finds pages in old books that he can alter to create a different kind of art with the words, claiming, “I rescue, salvage, and recycle other people’s words.” It’s recycling at its best.

And there’s more here.



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