As one whose shelves were once littered with not-reading, I liked this. From the Chronicle of Higher Education:
“The history of reading,” [Leah] Price says, “really has to encompass the history of not reading.”
Anyone who has ever displayed a trophy volume on the coffee table knows that people do many things with books besides read them. A book can be deployed as a sign of intellectual standing or aspiration. It can be used to erect a social barrier between spouses at a breakfast table or strangers on a train. It can be taken apart and recycled or turned into art. Price’s recent work recreates Victorians’ many extratextual uses of books.
I’m fascinated by how the scare of an e-book takeover and the rise of tablets have swung the pendulum of attention to the book-as-artifact. These bricks of paper are obviously more than the ink on their pages.