The Poetry of Book Spines

13 Jun

Nina Katchadourian is a Californian artist whose work has appeared in The Serpentine and MoMA. It’s been a decade since she conceived Sorted Books, an ongoing project which has manifested itself in many different places. Sorted Books is a very simple concept. Katchadourian visits private homes, or is commissioned by museums or peers, to peruse a collection of books, cull them down to their most useful titles and then group the books together so that their spines can be read in a sequence with the semblance and majesty of poetry.

Procrastination
I’ll Quit Tomorrow
I’ll Quit Tomorrow

DAVID
DAVID
FIRST AND LAST LOVE
SWEET MAN
Trust Me With Your Heart Again

MADE OF IRON
THE VICTOR WEEPS
The End is NEAr!
Yes, but…
STILL
IT HURTS

A DAY AT THE BEACH
THE BATHERS
SHARK 1
SHARK 2
SHARK 3
SUDDEN VIOLENCE
SILENCE

They seem to beg that age old question, what qualifies as art? Do these books become art when they are deliberately placed together? Do they remain art when the components are taken apart and the separate titles are returned to the shelf?

I was so inspired that I decided to try my hand at making some myself. The results are under the cut.

The Craft of Writing Romance

The Craft of Writing Romance
PROMISCUITIES
MISOGYNIES
Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Reviving Ophelia

REVIVING OPHELIA
Feeling sorry for Celia
AT YOUR SERVICE
Catweazle
WHAT DO YOU THINK, FEEZAL?

The Language of Flowers

the Language of Flowers
THE SHAPE OF WATER
THE FOOTSTEPS OF ANNE FRANK
CELESTIAL OBJECTS FOR COMMON TELESCOPES

Franny and Zooey PERSEPOLIS Anigone, Oedipus the King and Electra SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD IN AN ANTIQUE LAND

Franny and Zooey
PERSEPOLIS
Anigone, Oedipus the King and Electra
SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
IN AN ANTIQUE LAND

Twilight

TWiLiGHT
STARDUST
Everything is Illuminated

My rockstar partner did some too:

Betty Blue

Betty Blue
GIRL, INTERRUPTED

Every Girls Handbook

EVERY GIRL’S Handbook
THE GREAT OUTDOOR FIGHT

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4 Responses to “The Poetry of Book Spines”

  1. kassommers June 13, 2013 at 12:18 PM #

    I love this beautiful poem you have constructed:

    TWiLiGHT
    STARDUST
    Everything is Illuminated

  2. 1qmusic June 13, 2013 at 3:48 PM #

    The shark one made me chuckle. Persepolis is a great book too.

    • Stephanie Davies June 13, 2013 at 9:58 PM #

      Yeah it is! Please do not judge me on the contents of this particular library, I did not have a lot to work with :|

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