I destroy books and I love it!

Small rebellious voice always been present in my life. As a child I used to deceive people with my look of simply "a good, well brought up girl". What was seen outside was definitely not what my mind was like. I always questioned certain concepts, preconceptions and wanted to know "why". Maybe that was the reason I found art journaling in old books so pleasurable - is that because I damage them against that controlled command "respect books, don't write in a book!"? Of course I respect them fully- just in a different way...my arty way. Do you journal in old books? Would be great to know. that I am not the only one with that kind of "disorder" ;)


Converting an old book into your art journal also may have some associations and create possibilities. It has for me. So why apart form the pleasure of rebellion do I destroy book? Here are few reasons:


  • Books come in a variety of odd sizes that are not standardised A4, A5 and so on...and that feels like expanding possibilities.
  • Books smell- yes! They have that empowering smell of old fashioned libraries, lofts, suitcases that travelled on trains...and again I just love that sensual aspect!
  • Books have some stories in them already - you work IN a story of the book-that is a bonus and powerful inspiration. Fragments of stories on journal pages may convert into totally new story- untold one...
  • Books provide random words- application of gesso or paint provide coverage but some words are not covered- here comes the secret meaning- are they not covered accidentally or are they actually talking to YOU? Is there a message? Lots of soul searching possibilities come here…
  • Pages are not scary blank- like in a brand new, blank journal from a shop there is that blankness that sometimes may produce fear and resistance. Working on pages filled with words it becomes easier to make a start.


So here a few examples of my destroyed books, some are painted, some collaged as well- have a look!


Wishing you all happy destroying- o yes!!!:)



  • Comment Link Sunday, 29 November 2015 17:32 posted by Honorata

    Nela thank you for appearing here- great honour for me:) Yes I did walked into charity shop and bought the book due to the size and paper I liked. The seller mentioned that the book "is about this and that" and I just said- well it is going to be transformed as I am going to do some art in that book! The results? Shocked face expression and...me buying it, paying and walking off;) If I like a book then the desire is much stronger than keeping appearances;) Still feel somehow sorry for the seller though...

  • Comment Link Sunday, 29 November 2015 17:15 posted by Nela

    I never worked in a book before, but lately I've been drawn to it a lot.
    I'm attracted to antique books, red covers with golden ornaments, printed with gothic type... and I'm afraid to "ruin" those, since they're valuable artifacts themselves.

    Working in a new book wouldn't be such a big deal, but it doesn't attract me, either.

    I feel self-conscious about walking into a second hand bookstore and asking for a book based on the appearance, not the topic.
    "Do you have any lovely 100 year old books? Yeah, it doesn't matter if they're in German, I won't read them anyway."

    Hah, it probably wouldn't be such a big of a deal as I'm imagining it to be :)

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.



Join Artlysing

* indicates required

Let your art talk...