This morning I found myself reading an intriguing article about a handgun that was found inside a hollowed-out book (reminiscent of Shawshank, anyone?) that had been donated to a public library. The librarians were very surprised by the antique handgun and promptly called the police to report it (in case it had been stolen). It looks like it wasn’t and isn’t connected to any criminal activity.
Personally, I love the idea of old books being used to store precious things (besides knowledge, ideas, and magical wonder!). But this calls into question a clear divide in the library community: those of us who like book-related crafts, even when they involved altering the books, and those who believe in preservation no matter what.
Perhaps it’s in my nature as a LIS student who has been exploring more tech aspects, but I think that book-crafts can be great even when they involved the destruction/re-purposing of a book. Of course there are many books (rare items, early editions, etc.) that I would never approve of ripping up for the sake of craft. But if you salvage a book from a garage sale or Goodwill that is pretty but you have no intention of reading, then by all means do something fun with it.
Crafty case in point: you can make your own hollowed-up book/secret treasure trove! I recently used a very easy-to-follow tutorial and am now the proud owner of my own Shawshank-like book (although mine doesn’t contain a rock hammer). It was a fun way to keep my hands busy while listening to a few This American Life podcasts and now I have a very awesome, stealthy addition to my bookshelf!