To All the Books I’ve Loved Before

Today, more horrors perpetrated upon hapless buckram.

This post is dedicated to Slate.com econ guy Matthew Yglesias, whom I used to admire quite a bit, but whom I am now banishing to the discard pile for his reckless anti-bookism. Yglesias says “the only real value of physical books at this point is a kind of nostalgia-soaked experience.” If he’s got a yen to soak in nostalgia, he might like this idea of turning a book into a faux-Victorian music box.
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The compartments remind me of the game Operation! — except I’d rather extract a plastic wishbone than a tiny pointless jar and single typewriter key.

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More importantly, though, this box is not secure.
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The key is stored right on the side, for heaven’s sake! Any criminal would find it in, like, two minutes. But then he might not get around to breaking into the box itself because he wouldn’t be able to stop compulsively opening and closing the cunning hidden drawer.

IMG_2688aSo maybe this box is actually a genius security system. And on top of that, when you wind it up it plays The Fall’s “Kurious Oranj!” Nah, it’s “Für Elise.” But if only…

Also flogging traditionalism is designer Ryan Jude Novelline with his princess dress made of “recycled and discarded” Golden Books. Tommy Hilfiger loved this, so we know it’s evil. Or at least boring.
goldenbook
Gosh, what a pretty prom dress — er, “princess gown.” And yet the New York Public Library cooed, ““Heaven! So fashionable, so literate, so colorful!” Traitors.
gown2A tight strapless bodice with a full skirt, ho hum. I guess you couldn’t get really adventurous with kids’ books as your materials — a miniskirt or hot pants are pretty much out — but how about a pair of stylin’ bell bottom slacks?
slacks3Fairy tales broken down and remade into an emblem of feminism — now, that would be heaven. Or at least, you know, comfy.

So yeah, there’s bad nostalgia and good nostalgia. And the quickest route to “good” as far as I’m concerned is ye olde mid-century modernism. Look at this clever clock!
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It’s not a DIY, but as Curbly’s DIY Maven points out, you could totally make one. Also, note that it only works as an addition to a full bookshelf. So it doesn’t replace books, it augments them! Let’s not let Yglesias have one.

Actually, clocks are arguably as obsolete as books are, since everybody has the time on their phones and computers now. I guess we should start turning all our old clocks into headboards.
clock-headboardMaybe not.

*Thanks to Zompist for hepping me to this article.

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