This is turning into How-To Week, isn’t it?
Yesterday, I took Son to the dentist for his biannual cleaning. Since I usually wait for the kids, I decided to take a book to alter to keep myself occupied and entertained. It’s therapeutic, and makes time pass rather quickly. Now, most people tend to ask what I’m doing out of curiosity, and they are pleased with the way the book turns out. But one lady yesterday was not so happy.
As I sat there folding pages, she came and sat one chair away from me (observing the personal space rule of waiting rooms), and decided to engage me in a debate of sorts.
Lady: You know you are destroying a book, right?
Me: I’m sorry?
Lady: You are destroying a book. You shouldn’t do that. That’s like banning or burning it!
Me: How am I destroying this book?
Lady: Well, you are folding it and now no one can read it.
Me: No one was reading it. This book was being tossed out in the recycling bin by the thrift store because no one wished to purchase a mass market romance paperback from 1974. It was destined to be mulched and re-purposed as kindling as a fake log. I thought it would be far more kind to alter it into a pretty sculpture that one can pull apart and read IF one is curious enough to do so. I have not desecrated the words with fire or with censorship in any way. I’m simply giving this poor book a new chance at life.
Lady: Well, it’s still wrong to treat a book that way.
Me: So you would rather it be burned as a fake log than be someone’s little literary surprise? Who is burning books now?
Lady: You don’t understand…
Me: I understand perfectly well. You see a book as an object with one purpose in life. I see it as something to be treasured in all forms. We can differ in opinion but you can’t force your opinion on me, just as I can’t force my opinion on you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I would like to finish this before my son is done.
Me: *goes back to folding*
She eventually moved to the other side of the waiting room. I could feel her disapproving glances as I continued to fold, which made me smile all the more. Perhaps I was a bit mean, but apparently the lady forgot that one should never, ever judge a book by its cover 😉