Our features editor, Antonia, finds an excellent way to use those old books you don’t have the heart to recycle or sell…

It can seem, at times, that as English students we spend our lives purchasing book after book, only to use them for a few weeks and then discard and forget. Despite my ever growing literature tab and the gentle covering of dust some seem to have accumulated, I will never find the courage to put them back on Amazon (unless things get really desperate). In my attempts to rationalise this lifelong commitment to my paperbacks, I delved deep into the online world for inspiration.

To my delight, I stumbled upon the art of turning a much loved novel into an entirely new piece with ‘Altered Books’, simply by circling or highlighting interesting phrases or words and joining them together to create poetry. I was inspired by http://www.logolalia.com/alteredbooks/ which gives a brief insight into the concept:

The Idea

“Cut the bindings off of books found at a used book store. Find poems in the pages by the process of obliteration. Put pages in the mail and send them all around the world. Lather, rinse, repeat.”

Many of the remaining words are surrounded by rough, dull scribbles in order to make them boldly stand from the paper, whilst others have been decorated and personalised with equations, doodles and colours making the pieces even more unique.

You can completely change the tone of chapter, develop new characters, and become the hidden voice of the writer by transforming their works, developing and altering to suit your mood.  Some of the entered poems are inspiring and it would be fantastic to see what examples we at Razz can unearth.  Start simple with a few pages of an old book you don’t mind altering and see where it takes you.

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