Art Installations from Recycled Books

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“If civilization has risen from the Stone Age, it can rise again from the Wastepaper Age.” ~Jacques Barzun 

Can you imagine how many books have been thrown in dumpsters and landfills over the years? More than I care to think about. 

Overprinting books means wasting money by having to pay rent for storage space. It also uses up natural resources – trees. 

Thanks to print-on-demand, and the development of electronic publishing (e-books), future generations will be much wiser in the way they produce books.

Last week the U.S.A. Today newspaper cited how for the first time ever, in 2011, e-book sales have exceeded hardcover sales – up 28% from the previous year. That is progress towards sustaining the environment and the publishing industry. To read the article, please visit this link. http://usat.ly/MhU10F

Digital publishing also means that updating books is economical and easy. To post new e-ditions you just download the new version through a computer. Gotta love it! 

What to do with all those books sitting in warehouses taking up space because the publisher has over-estimated sales and over-printed? 

Here is a creative solution:

 

Photo: A library information desk made out of recycled books. 

Artists, do you have other good ideas for large permanent art installations made out of outdated publications, that will spare landfills and dumpsters from receiving them? We would love to hear from you.

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Different Methods of Delivery

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Life is the sum of all your choices.” ~ Albert Camus

Book-lovers often get disturbed when they hear the word e-books. All they can envision is the disappearance of books in print. I can not see this happening in my lifetime.

Many people love digital readers. They are another instrument of delivering media – electronically.  Our choices for receiving news and entertainment has been expanded to film, music, radio, television, newpapers, magazines, audio books, books in print and e-books. As each form of media has arrived on the scene, it has not negated the need for the other. It has only provided new choices.

For instance, movies became available on-demand on televisions, and  DVD rentals stores opened up.  Netflix demonstrated movies could efficiently be distributed through the mail. Now a full range of movies are at our dispose by downloading them onto  personal computers and digital devices. It did not stop scores of people from going to the cinema each and every year! There is no substitute for the sights and sounds of the BIG SCREEN! Let’s be frank – visual effects are not nearly as stunning when viewed on a computer screen as when they are projected onto the big silver screen, where they are ideally meant to be.

People ask me whether I have a Kindle, a Sony or a Nook digital reader? I have a downloaded Kindle on my computer. I spend every working hour reading and writing on a computer.  At the end of the day I am not done reading but I want to switch gears. I like reading the news and books for pleasure on paper.

I want to clutch the book in my hands, smell the slight scent of ink or the hand cream left on the pages from where I left off.  I want to turn real paper pages. I don’t want to touch one more digital device.  It is as basic as that! In my opinion, there is not a fulfilling substitute for having a real book in hand.

If I asked you “What is your favorite way of having media delivered to you?” The reply would probably be “sometimes I like to listen to music, sometimes I like to read the paper, sometimes I  go to my computer…..It all depends on my mood.”

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She Writes Home

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The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.” ~ Anthony Robbins

 

The other day, I began to think about the consequences of the digital world with regard to personal communication. I think back to my college days of long ago – leaving my family and my high school friends behind. Long distance calling was not cheap, nor was it a daily or weekly occurrence, so I wrote a prodigious amount of handwritten letters to my friends and family, all about the fulfilling life I had rebuilt for myself  some 500 miles from home in the Green Mountains of Vermont. 

Sometimes I tried to be creative. I’d send my family and friends a token from Vermont. A pressed, dried wildflower or single frond of fern, tucked flatly in the envelope. I often walked to the college grounds, through the woods, from my off campus housing. I was always on the look-out for large treasured pieces of peeled birch bark to be used as an alternate source of stationary. Sustainability was not the buzz word back then, but, I did realize on some level that I was recycling and re-using a natural resource. 

Sending handwritten letters on beautiful stationary, envelopes sealed with stamped wax, have nearly gone by the wayside. Now with instantaneous digital communication, people reserve handwritten notes and cards for special occasions – Fathers Day, Mothers Day, Birthdays and Anniversaries. E-Cards have reduced the need for “Belated” cards because you can deliver electronic cards, PDQ! 

It has been a while since I have sent a heartfelt letter through the mail home. Next time I do, I’d like to enclose a sprig of prairie grass, sagebrush, New Mexico privet or maybe a small branch of Apache plume, will do. But I am reminded by the words of Gerard Manley Hopkins: 

“What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long the weeds and the wilderness yet.”

On second thought, I think I’ll just send an e-card, that way I can design the page with any flower or plant that I want. http://bit.ly/q89tj7.

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Pilot Program for Independent Publishers

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It is not easy to be a pioneer – but oh, it is fascinating! I would not trade one moment, even the worst moment, for all the riches in the world.” ~ Elizabeth Blackwell 

According to Jamie LaRue, the Director of Douglas County Libraries in Colorado, “this is the most exciting time in publishing since the invention of the printing press. Until now, books coming through the gateway of the library have been restricted to only those that have been published by the big traditional publishing houses.” The new agreement that has been signed between the Douglas County Library System http://douglascountylibraries.org/  and the Colorado Independent Publishers Association www.cipabooks.com  will allow a system whereby independent publications can be found by library patrons and libraries will essentially be fulfilling a need for the independents by helping them to find readers, too. How cool is that? 

The magnitude of opportunity and possibilities that this agreement opens up for libraries all across the country and for independent publishers, too, is mind boggling. “Take this another few steps further”, a Colorado Independent Publishers Association member remarked at the signing of the agreement, “and think what this agreement can do for independent publishers of film and music, too.” 

Of course, providing top quality books has always been the objective of libraries, and this will remain unchanged. Being put into place is a “rating system” that will allow the best  to be included in catalog of e-booksthat will be sold to libraries. 

Jamie LaRue told his story of how his mind-set had been changed toward independent publishers. He used to interview authors, and as he began to feature a few independent publishers, he realized there is a whole new generation of publishers who have outstanding, valuable stories to share but the big traditional publishing houses are passing them by. It seems his objective is to provide excellence in literature for his library patrons, whether traditionally published or not. 

To read more about this e-book Pilot program agreement between the Colorado Independent Publishers Association and the Douglas County Libraries, please visit http://bit.ly/eYPEix

You can be sure, we will be following this story as this agreement unfolds. Keep in touch with what is happening in the dynamic and changing world of independent publishing through All Things Fulfilling. This blog site is dedicated to those who have independent thoughts, words and views, that will truly change the world of publishing.

This photograph is the signing of the e-book agreement between Colorado Independent Publishers Association President, Nancy Mills and Director of Douglas County Library System, Jamie LaRue.

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