April 25, 2006

ARTICLE | Altered Books

Wear This Book (but Bring It Back Friday)
By Amy Sutherland
Source: New York Times

TO make room for shiny new books, librarians cull the texts that have been loved literally to pieces, as well as volumes that haven't been stamped with a due date in years. The rejected books are given away, tossed in Dumpsters, melted in acid, even burned — visions that could stop any author's pen in midsentence. It is, as the librarian Michael Whittaker puts it, the book-lending world's dirty little secret.

Mr. Whittaker works for the Portland Public Library in Maine, where a small portion of such ill-fated books are given a new life as art. And this art can now be checked out at public libraries across the country.

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