I decided that I wanted to do some sort of craft project this weekend. In part because I had not made anything with my hands in some time, and in part because I wanted something to do while my girlfriend was at work that was more productive than watching Mythbusters on Netflix. I searched around online for a bit and came across instructions for hollowing out a book for putting stuff in (think Tim Robbins in Shawshank Redemption). I don’t really have anything I need to hide in a book, but I always liked the idea so I decided to do it.
Saturday morning I went out of supplies, which in this case was just a few books from the local thrift store. I ended up with a book of patent law from 1954. It has a nice leather binding so it will look good on a shelf and is a long book so it will have a nice deep cavity. Once I got home and got everything set up I froze before I could get started. I encountered a visceral discomfort at the idea of destroying a book. It is just an out of date legal reference book, but I was having a hard time convincing myself that it would not be useful. What if someone asked a question about patent law? What would I do then, having destroying my only patent law book? Plus, when I flipped through the book some of it looked quite interesting. Sure in reality I would never read through it, but still. On top of that I am just really uncomfortable with the idea of destroying any book regardless of its content. I was aware that I had a visceral reaction to books being destroyed, but I was surprised at how strong the reaction was for even a 50 year out of date reference book.
It took my a good 15 minutes to get over my discomfort and get around to starting the project. Once I got started I got into it (but good lord does it take a long time to x-acto knife your way through 700 pages) and ended up watching Mythbusters all day while I worked anyway.
Its a neat project and I think that I am going to make another, this time with a slot in the top so I have a place to keep coins that isn’t a coffee mug on my desk. I’ll just have to make sure and find an even more obscure and useless book to see if I am just as uncomfortable.