Precious, mysterious, and vulnerable objects of communication have the power to connect us with ourselves and others--My father taught me that books are all these things and more.
The mystery of a book begins with its cover and further unfolds when you open it. Books entice us to flip through their pages and ponder their contents, history, and craftsmanship in search of a compelling reason to choose them. Some have a catchy or interesting title that beckons our attention. Others are treasured because inherited from a loved one. Once chosen, the way we hold and share books further reveals their capacity to connect and inspire us. We can hold books in our hands or laps, write our names inside them, mark our favorite parts, and share them with friends.
Nevertheless, books are vulnerable, often abandoned or discarded once read or outdated. They may deteriorate over time. And yet, even then they can encourage connection with those wanting them for archival, collection, commercial, or artistic purposes. Transformed by flood or artistic process into sculptural objects, books take on a new identity and can attract audiences in ways unimagined by their authors.
These photographs are a reminder that books we can hold embody the ties of memory and communication, linking one generation to the next in a way that words stored in an intangible cloud cannot. Perhaps this is because treasured volumes passed down through the ages never finish saying what they have to say.