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Books Are My Bag

13 Oct

Books Are My Bag is a UK campaign to celebrate bookshops. For many people, bookshops conjure fond images of book readings, in-store cafes and delight at the discovery of a new author. In fact, 56% of all book buying decisions are made by bookshop customers, and high street bookshops (both chains and independents) still account for almost 40% of books bought by consumers! Yet, many high street bookshops are under threat, especially from online retailers.

I suppose these bags are good reminders to people to buy more books. After all – orange is the most impulsive colour! However, there are certainly more stylish solutions out there if you want to show off your inner bookworm.

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Book Porn: Armpits4August Edition

15 Aug

Day 14: Not a lot to see here.

If you haven’t noticed the trend of underarm follicles blossoming into fruition this month, I wouldn’t blame you. Despite Dove’s marketing campaign to try and sell us the ‘beautiful underarm’ as a thing, we just don’t spend a lot of time looking at each other’s pits! Unless you’re Amanda Palmer or Julia Roberts, the sad fact of life is that nobody will pay very much attention to your underarm tresses if you do grow hair under there, and if you’re bare under there you probably haven’t ever given much thought to why you shave in the first place. But for some women and trans* men with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), the battle against body hair can be a complicated, emotional, and embarrassing experience.

A common symptom of PCOS is hirsutism (excessive hair growth). Inspired by this, Armpits4August began as a month long charity event in which participants grow underarm hair for one month and ask friends and family to sponsor them to raise money for Verity, the charity for people with PCOS. Armpits4August believes the shame a lot of people feel about their body hair is a consequence of living in a society which dictates that female-assigned bodies must conform to incredibly narrow beauty standards, and which upholds a rigid gender binary that deems body hair a ‘masculine’ trait.

These beautiful and bizarre book covers are my own contribution to the movement (as well as my participation in the event, of course). So without further ado, let’s take a look at the lovely limb locks! Continue reading

New Advertisement for ‘The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia’ is Mathematical!

9 Aug

adventure itme

The Adventure Time Encylopaedia‘ is out, and I couldn’t by more hyped! We need more book advertisements like this, please:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YgtfxItJG7A]

If you’re still craving book-related content featuring Jake the Dog and Finn the Human,  this Adventure Time travel guide by Cartoon Network details the best books to read in The Land of Ooo. I can’t be the only girl who wishes she could get her hands on a copy of ‘I Wrote A Book’ by Lumpy Space Princess…

Book Porn: Sandwich Book

13 Jul

Heard of a coffee table book? Well, this creation by graphic designer Pawel Piotrowski is a dining table book.

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Book Porn: Princeton University Library’s Bookbinding Collection

9 Jul

Princeton University’s Firestone Library is pretty much the greatest library on the planet, at least according to the evidence I’ve gathered. They held an exhibition back in 2002 called ‘Hand Bookbindings: Plain and Simple to Grand and Glorious’ in the Library’s main gallery, and every single book included is the most beautiful book that you have ever seen.

These marbled endpapers are from John Disney’s ‘An essay upon the execution of the laws against immorality and prophaneness’, published in London in 1708. I would like to read this book.

But wait, it gets better:

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Ekaterina Panikanova Paints on Books

7 Jul

rabbit

Artist Ekaterina Panikanova creates paintings out of old books, and they’re pretty neat. The Russian-born Roman takes objects with existing meaning and translates them into works of art. The results are absolutely gorgeous; I especially like how the different shades and makes of paper add interest and depth to the creations.

A lot of these installations feature cakes, which I’m pretty pleased about. I also like her experiments with Rorschach-like ink blots, and I feel like her black centerfolds are something that Little Goth Girl could have painted.

black

What do you think? Personally, I’d like to see her try it with Kindles.

Book Porn: Rainbow Bookshelves

19 Jun

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From my Pinterest board ‘Sexy Bookshelves‘.

It could be practical if you can always remember what colour the spine is on your favourite books!

I think it could be fun to devote one or two shelves in a house to LGBT+ authors. And for sexist and homophobic authors you could try gently ripping off the covers and sort of tossing the book into some mud somewhere.

What do you think of the rainbow bookshelf method of organisation?Are you more of an alphabetical or organise-by-genre kind of reader? Or are all your books on a Kindle? Let me know in the comments!

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.

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Book Porn: Antique Occult Edition

6 Jun

While doing a routine Google of the Enchiridion from Adventure Time (I live a sad life) I found this amazing website that sells antique occult books, i.e. the top fifty books most likely to be cursed of all time).

Look at this Enchiridion! It’s hand coloured! It belonged to a Pope! It also has several handwritten inscriptions, including an invocation written on an extra paper and inserted in the book. It’s so coooooooool.

Look at this cool and practical diagram for making your own magick circle! Don’t try this at home, kids. This is a page from one book from a set of four grimoires. But they’re priced at € 6,000, so au revoir grimoire, I guess.

This is a Major Inquisitor’s manual on Demonology from the year 1578 and I want to casually read it on the tube on the way to work.

This comes from the end pages of ‘Discours et Histoires des Spectres’, published in 1605, the most beautiful copy of the most extensive study on the history of ghosts and Demonology to come out of the period. Just look at this page! Don’t you just want to stroke it? Can’t you feel its demon powers of hypnotism taking hold?!

What’s your favourite book from the website? I bet I’ve missed all the good ones.