The Fascination of Altered Books

altered booksI have been fascinated by Altered Books ever since I first read a series of articles by Tracey Kazimir in over two years ago.

I printed out each article in the series, so I would have all the information, skills and techniques at my fingertips ready to start my own creation.

I bought a bunch of old second hand books with titles that I wasn’t remotely interested in so I would have the basis for my own altered book.

I was keen. I was excited.

And here I am two years later and I still haven’t made one altered book!

I’m still fascinated by them. It’s a bit like the fascination of a moth to a flame. I have honoured and revered books all my life and when it comes to actually tampering with them by deliberately ripping pages out and covering them with paint I feel like there’s a force holding me back.

altered books

Does this sound nutty?

We’re talking about old books that were probably destined for the rubbish tip anyway and not even ones that I woud possibly want to read. And I can’t bring myself to harm them.

Is there some counseling for this? Does anyone else suffer from this book problem?

And is there something I can take for it?

OK the time has come for me to take a stand against this neurosis. For me to take accountability.

So I’m declaring here and now to you, that I will make my first altered book before Christmas and post it here on Scraps of Mind.

This is my pledge.

Wish me luck, I’m having an anxiety attack just writing this.

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14 Responses to The Fascination of Altered Books

  1. Laura Kelly August 15, 2008 at 2:28 am #

    You can do it!! One thing to be aware of is that it is as addicting as plain scrapping – maybe more. Once I got started I didn’t want to stop. What a great way to use all my scraps etc. Now I have a million ideas for altered books and not enought time. LOL

    For my first ones I copied assorted quotes under different categories and made them as gifts. First one was for my pastor and he loved it!! I also did one on cars for a friend.

    Good Luck!!

  2. Laura Kelly August 15, 2008 at 2:29 am #

    So much for spellcheck. It was not “cars” but “cats”. LOL

  3. Antoinette August 15, 2008 at 3:12 am #

    I’m with you, books are sacred. But I think I could make an exception for books that don’t interest me, like some 1000 pages about math :P
    Can’t wait to see your creation and remember… take a deep breath in…. aaaaaand… breath out! You’ll manage :)

    Antoinettes last blog post..Freebie Stained Glass Flowers

  4. LuckyGirl August 15, 2008 at 5:09 am #

    I’ve always thought of books as works of art, and couldn’t bring myself to even use a highlighter in a textbook, or turn down a page corner. I don’t get the altered book thing at all. Why not buy a black journal and alter it instead?

  5. karooch August 15, 2008 at 7:53 am #

    Why do I have this compulsion to push myself out of my comfort zone all the time? Can I get tablets for it?

    OK, thank you for your support ladies, I will centre myself and do this thing. I like the idea of a maths book Antoinette.

    And if I still can’t do it, then LuckyGirl’s suggestion of a black journal may have to come into play.

  6. June Campbell from Scrapbook Video Tutorials August 15, 2008 at 8:51 am #

    I think a lot of people feel as you do. I however, will gleefully rip them up, tear them, burn them, carve them into weird shapes — or anything else that strikes my fancy. I am without conscience in this regard!

    I have found that many people just “don’t get” altered books. I made my first altered book several years ago. It was a gift to my friend who was celebrating 20 years in her chosen career. Since I had written her resume and still had it stored in my computer, I used each component in her resume to create a themed layout in the AB. My friend loved it — but many others who saw it didn’t get the point.

    I have an altered book web site with a lot of how-to techniques if you are interested.

  7. karooch August 15, 2008 at 1:58 pm #

    Thanks June, this is a great resource for making altered books. I’ll definitely be delving into your tips and techniques as I get into the project.

  8. Meia2 August 17, 2008 at 3:33 pm #

    I have read about altered books before too and wanted to make one for myself. But still i’m about thinking twice because they are books. :)

    Meia2s last blog post..My Dream Vacation

  9. karooch August 17, 2008 at 4:21 pm #

    I think that’s the stumbling block that many of us face Meia

  10. Beka August 20, 2008 at 7:41 am #

    I agree. They are just so cool. I loaned mine to the local museum, and you just reminded me that I need to get it back!!

    Bekas last blog post..I had a great mail day!!

  11. karooch August 20, 2008 at 9:00 am #

    Just another service we provide here at Scraps of Mind, Beka

  12. Jennifer August 22, 2008 at 7:33 pm #

    I understand the thing about not being comfortable in ripping a book to pieces. I feel the same way, but am building on it, have used the covers of old books for projects. I think that the secret is too get books from the markets or second hand shops, look at it as a way of recycling especially when you get a book that is not a classic 1st edition but I think the maths one is a good idea. I have collected a few of the old readers digest condensed novels, the ones with four novels cut back into one volume. I justify the ‘wonton distruction’ by telling myself that they are not the real books anyway.

  13. karooch August 22, 2008 at 7:57 pm #

    Yeah, I think I’ll need some serious talking to myself too Jennifer. One part of the brain can rationalise and the other part says “They’re Books!!!”


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