Saturday, 12 November 2011

old books and curious questions

There's something really special about old books...  I return to them over and over again for inspiration, ideas, nurture and questions.  I've used them in so many projects and with so many groups of people - there's always something waiting to be discovered and different things that creep out of the pages to alert curiosity...

Mostly I keep my old books intact, but sometimes I take them apart to pull out words
and phrases and use them in creating objects and little books.

I've been really inspired by a collection of old books for children about the natural world - and by the information contained within them and the questions the books ask.  Some of that is to do with the use of words, phrases and language that feels very poetic.  Some of it is to do with the sense of trusting young people to be out hunting for bugs, climbing trees, watching the skies, searching under stones, walking through woodland - things that can be lost for children today.  Some of it is because things are hinted at - which  thereby encourages the reader to go and discover for themselves and to use their own imaginations (rather than giving the reader every single step broken down and neatly set out into boxes with outcomes already decided for them).  Some of it is because older books can be so filled with things that make you smile...

Some of the allure is in books I loved as a child - and the smell and textures of paper and print...  Some books provide comfort and become close friends.  Some books give you doorways into other worlds.  Some books make you question things.  Some books linger in your mind for years and years...

And, what is the moon?

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