This month's book used the side panels from a grocery bag for the pages, a plastic piece that came with a purchase of a pair of socks and an elastic for the binding, and candy wrappers, fruit stickers, and the left over sticky paper from red and green dot stickers that were left over from jurying at the Newburyport Art Association to decorate the pages. The poem was inspired by the fruits the stickers were on.
**NOTE - Susan also has a series of videos to take you step-by-step through the process of making some of these books.
It has all become depressingly polarised, viz. the following:
1. I went to a Waterstone's the other day looking for some Thomas Hardy. Any would do: I was in a bad mood, and wanted only to remind myself that it could be worse.
There was none. I am a mild-tempered woman and disinclined to shout, but when I queried this with the pleasant but ignorant four-year-old on the till, her apologetic shrug (she simply had no idea why their not stocking Hardy was even vaguely odd) raised in me the desire to launch myself over the till and batter her to death with a copy of The Little Book of Calm (or whatever).
2. The following day I ventured into a local independent bookshop. The woman on the till gave me a protracted up-and-down sort of look, apparently established (wrongly) that I was not one of life's readers, and ignoring my smile returned to her newspaper. I panicked, picked up a Nabokov I didn't want and a Dostoyevsky I already had, and returning to the till found myself greeted with an icy expression since she was on the phone and reluctant to be disturbed. God help anyone that went in there to pick up a nice PD James to read in the bath. I suspect she'd actually spit in their faces.
Someone lend me one hundred large and I promise I'll open a big, shambling, pleasing, cosy bookshop that stocks everything from Sir Philip Sidney to Doris Lessing. There'll be armchairs. And cake! And neither ignorance nor judgement! And probably a marmalde cat.
Number 3 - Normally I don't talk about what a great mother I think I am, but I'm still reeling from the Saturday afternoon matinee of High School Musical 3 that I dutifully took my son to see, so brag I will. In a theater filled with screaming and swooning tweens (and yes there were a good number of boys in the room), the best part of the experience was the amazing behind-the-scenes look at Coraline. February 2009 no longer seems so far away. Here's a nice clip. Did you know they're making this in 3-D?