In news unrelated to this post, myself and some friends are looking for a seventh for a "friendly" little game of diplomacy online. If you're keen, drop me a line in the comments.
Like most bibliophiles, I am fiercely protective of my books. I snap at those who carelessly open them to an angle of more than forty degrees, I keep them vertically as much as possible to reduce the stress on the spines, and I am meticulous about book repairs (at least as much as possible for a lazy guy with little free time).
Thus you might find it suprising that when I first saw a copy of Keri Smith's Wreck This Journal you might think that I would cringe at the very thought, but the reality is quite the opposite. Here was a book that I could destroy, let go of my neanderthal instincts and just run wild with, and have a lot of fun along the way. It wanted me to obliterate it, crush it beneath my heel (literally), devour it piece by piece. Unfortunately, though, the owner of it was reluctant to let me mutilate part of her library, no matter how manic the grin on my face became.
So you can imagine my joy, when for my most recent birthday I received a copy of my very own, to destroy however I saw fit, and I have since taken great joy in various modes of distruction, taking care not to do too much at any one time, so that I can keep the journal for a little while and not end up spending all my money on new versions just so that I could destroy it a little more.
First, I vicously cracked the spine in as many ways as I could think of, stamping, folding, karate chopping. Damage was being done, I was harm that most precious of God's creations, a book, and it should have felt glorious, but instead it but strangely unsatisfying. There wasn't even any good little popping noises like one comes to expect from handling library hardcovers.
Next I tried pure destruction, ripping and tearing, but it was too neat, too sensible.
The washing machine was next, and this at least produced a satisfying result (and a bit of a mess in the machine...), obviously water was a good thing for this poor little journal, which left the next step painfully obvious...
Shower time. Get the journal good and soapy, make sure it gets a nice shampoo and everything too, so that it comes out fresh and clean and smelling of chemicals.
Then, of course, I had a wet journal to deal with, so I left it on the wood heater to dry out over the course of several days, changing the page it was open to regularly. Then various family members found it, and following the instructions they opened to a random page and performed the function for me, hence the red wine stain through some of the central pages.
A curious red mould is growing on some of the pages, I guess I left it damp for too long...unexpected natural destruction, nice!
Time to contribute a little of my own with a few little notes...
I was beginning to feel a little bit like a sheep, just following along doing everything the book tells me, but hey, the world needs a few sheep, anyway.
Go, you brave little spine!
Hrmm, starting to look a little tatty, for some reason.
Well, that's the beginning of what I hope will be an interesting little series. Of course, other people have done this so so much better than me that it seems hardly worth trying, but I'm having fun with it for now. Other people scare me, anyway.
Wanna know what else I got for my birthday? You'll just have to wait until tomorrow.