Why I Keep One Book to Destroy

In high school art class, my teacher asked us to bring an old book to class. I picked up an old coin guide for collecters for a buck. If we were bringing a book to art class, it probably wasn’t going to last long.

She was about to open the door to a new kind of journaling for me. One in which the book in my hand was less sacred and more of canvas to have my way with.

We did a lot of things to our books of choice that might make some book lovers cringe. To give you a little taste, here’s the flyleaf. I was just getting started.

I was a lot more playful back then. Here’s one more shot for you.

Before this, I didn’t view books as moldable, destroyable objects. I wouldn’t dare underline a thing in any book I owned! Then, I saw what a ratty old coin guide could be.

Years later, I decided to give this art another go. This time, I fell in love with a book pleasantly titled The Life Of Birds.

I played with found poetry on the first page of chapter one.

I taped flowers and feathers throughout. 

I tucked away recipes, letters, postcards, and notes.

I’ve yet to fill this journal, but it is by far my favorite to flip through. I like to imagine someone years after I’ve passed opening up this little book of treasures. I know the little thrill of finding someone’s curiosities in an old book.

This seemingly destructive form of journaling relives me from the pressure of recording events. I’ve never enjoyed writing detailed accounts of my day. The pressed flowers and scraps of poetry are enough for me. I like to remember the feel of things.


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