Books as Art…

What are people’s thoughts on books as art? I ask this as recently one of my mancunian ‘arty’ friends recently made an installation in a Liverpool hospital featuring books encased on sealed shelves in the colonoscopy ward waiting room…


I have to admit I was thinking ‘but why not have the books able to be read by everyone instead of endless out of date issues of Heat and The Lady?’ Well apparently, both because they might get taken and some NHS rule about books, that’s just the way it is. So between the books are screens showing things you can learn while your waiting in the waiting room. I like the idea.


So what do you think? Should books be used as art or should they just be for reading? I have to admit I was pacified more by this whole venture when my friend said after getting 4 metres of old penguin classics they had too many and would I like to riffle through and take some? More on that haul soon…


Filed under Book Thoughts, Random Savidgeness

22 responses to “Books as Art…

  1. verityjdo

    Oh no, that would just make me frustrated not being able to pick them up for a flick through!

    FOUR METRES of Penguin classics? The mind boggles.

    Hope you’re doing ok Simon.

  2. I use books to make art myself. I also make books that are art. There’s a growing number of people doing this in Northern California. My own stuff is quite amateur but there are some wonderful professional artist doing it.

    So, I’m in favor.

  3. Books as art/art installations is fabulous but I’m sorry, books that aren’t accessibly for people to flick through is a travesty! Surely they’re not fulfilling their ‘destiny’ sealed in a box 😦 poor books. Found a brilliant book called Living with Books by Domique Dupuich in a gallery in Sweden… I need to sort a little library of my own out.

    • Oooh I am going to have to look that book up now as it sounds just the sort of thing I would love from the title alone.

      The books will get released in about four years, so its not forever… really.

  4. I’ll admit, the idea is a bit strange for me. Personally, I’ve always thought that books are there to be read, not just looked at. If they’re just there to be seen, they’re no more than status symbols, which makes it seem elitist somehow. It just bugs me a little.

  5. I love books as art, though I’ve never seen it done quite in this way. I re-purpose books all the time. I look at it this way: using books as art is a great way to save them from being neglected, recycled or thrown away…and you get to share some beauty and love of the written word at the same time.

    • How do you re-purpose books Melody, I would love to know.

      These books would have ended up in a far worse state if they hadn’t gone in these cases so I think its good they have a new purpose. Plus I got to rescue some.

  6. I’ve seen books turned into art by cutting them up and re-assembling them. I’m not too happy with this as it’s destroying the original book. At least your friend is keeping the books intact – they could revert to being something to read at a later date.

  7. novelinsights

    I think it depends. I don’t like them for pure decorative reasons especially if they are damaged (moaned about this here) but this implementation seems rather nice, especially because there’s some learning involved. Nice way to jolly up a usually boring NHS waiting room!

  8. Oh this is horrifying! How frustrating not to be able to access the books… in general I have no ideological stance against books as art, but would almost invariably find it frustrating. If they used lots of old Mills & Boon, or non-fic, or anything I’m not interested in (!) then selfishly I wouldn’t mind.

  9. Pingback: Four Metres of Penguin Classics… | Savidge Reads

  10. To me, the books here look like super-rare valuables kept behind glass cases in a museum – who knows, with the rise of the e-book, maybe this is the future of the book as artefact…

    • I had a good gander at them Tom and some were worth money… they won’t be sold though as they are now in my TBR along with some others I just really wanted.

      You are right though, this scarily could be the future.

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