Sunday, November 29, 2009

50 Things to Do With a Book by Bruce McCall

Bruce McCall laments the technology age and the corresponding downfall of the printed page. "Librarians recently thrown out of work are forced to take jobs assembling Kindles in basement facilities where books were formerly stored." Book warehouses are now storing and shipping video games, Barnes & Noble stores are being converted to mini-storage units... McCall's tongue-in-cheek picture of our journey toward being a "paperless society" will get a grin and maybe even a giggle from those relics that still insist on turning pages by hand.
The introduction - a short essay on the extinction of books - is by far the highlight of the book. What follows are fifty one-paragraph ideas on alternative uses for your book collection now that you're not reading them. Books as substitutes for clay pigeons in skeet shooting, as game pieces in a round of "book bombing", or as coasters, snack trays and end tables were some of my favorites.
This is a cute, under-an-hour read that I recommend for a laugh, and maybe even a moment of introspection on the plight of our printed companions. However, with only 100 pages, nearly half of them illustrations, and hardly a dozen lines each on the printed ones, the $16.99 price tag seems awfully steep. And, since it's unlikely that many libraries will stock this small volume, you may want to enjoy it while standing in the aisle of your favorite bookstore.

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