I thought maybe I was getting ahead of myself when I made the post categories for this blog before I actually got around to writing posts. I mean, what if someone clicks on gardening today? Because I have yet to post anything about gardening! The horrors! And up until right now, the Rants category has been empty as well. But no more, kind reader. No more.
Today I want to talk to you about how much I hate upcycled book crafts. I feel like I see these things on Pinterest every day and they must stop. Just in case you’re reading this and thinking “what the hell is an upcycled book craft?” I guess I’ll define it for you (and then you’ll feel like an idiot because this term should not need defining): an upcycled book craft is any craft project where you use all or part of a book as a material.
And here’s problem #1 I have with this: people who like these projects seem to think they like books. Do you? Do you really? Because if you’re willing to ruin a perfectly good book to make some cutesy home decor item, you clearly don’t have any respect for the printed word. Books are important. Yes, they’re made of paper. And things can be done with paper. I get it. But I don’t get how someone who loves books can cut up a book to, I don’t know, cover a lampshade. Because you know what? I love dogs. Love them so much. Want to see my puppydog everywhere I look. And I will never cut off part of her body and frame it.
My second major problem with the book crafts is honestly the people who like them. It reeks of non-reader who wants everyone to think they read. Oh, you read a couple books last year? Yeah, I guess that does make you technically a reader. But why do I need to know about it? And if you are such an avid reader, there’s one great way for people to figure that out: they’ll see you reading. Needing people to see evidence of your love of books reeks of the kind of faux-nerdom that is making me want to retch. It was annoying already, but I’m pretty sure The Big Bang Theory just made it worse. And don’t get me started on Dr. Who fans (and I watch the show, so it’s not a problem with the show – although it’s far from faultless).
And I want to revisit the whole “books are important” point I made above. Because damn it, they are! A 2010 study found that children who grew up in homes with books got further in school than children who didn’t even when they controlled for parental education, occupation, and class. That’s a big deal! And what else can we learn from this study? There are children who grow up in homes with zero books. Zero. And you think it’s cute to rip apart a book to decoupage a serving tray? Talk about entitlement. And I know some will read this and say “But what about books that are so damaged that they can’t be salvaged?” You know what? I can see how you would think that was a valid reason for this, but I still don’t like it. Again, it’s a matter of respect. When I die, I know that I’m not going to be good for much of anything. But please, for the love of all that is holy, do not turn me into a terrarium.
Oh, and most of them are ugly. Anyway, here are some of the worst offenders I can find:
Okay, I found this atrocity on a site called brit.co. It makes me sad/angry for multiple reasons. First, there’s pretty much all the above reasons. I mean, look at how many books have been ruined in the name of cute! But also, it’s just not cute! Why would I want a nightstand that looks like a mess? Not only is it a stack of books, but it’s a caddywhompus stack of books!
Look what I found? A mildew factory! Available for the low, low cost of $50!
Look at this monstrosity from Bob Vila. Bob, I loved you. You were my childhood and then you do this. I think what’s particularly disappointing about this project is that at first glance you think maybe you can rescue the books from their side table prison. But then you take apart the lamp and now your books have holes drilled in them. They’ll never be the same after what you did, Bob.
I think this one might piss me off the most. I mean, at least this wreath isn’t hideous. But you know what? You can barely tell that it’s made out of book pages! It’s like finding out Cruella de Vil wanted to kill the dalmatians to line the inside of her shoe box. Oh, and this person dares to call this the “Well Read Wreath.” Not to continue ranting or anything, but you know what a well read person does with books? Read them!
I know I’m sounding like a broken record here, but you know what else people who love books don’t do? Tear out pages so they can frame them.
And finally, a way to use a book to store the thing you really care about. Because if you think it’s okay to cut a remote-shaped hole in what appears to be a perfectly good book, I seriously doubt you read.
So that’s my first rant. Some day when I have the emotional energy to tackle the subject, I may talk to you about open-faced sandwiches. Damn it, now I’m thinking about open-faced sandwiches. I have to be up early in the morning to go read middle- and high-school science projects!
And let’s be honest, this rant was posted because I’ve done absolutely nothing interesting all week. A bunch of really long work days and then I seem to have gotten sick. My whole body hurts, I have a fever, and my head feels like it’s going to explode. I slept for fourteen hours last night and I still don’t want to get out of bed for the next week!