This wall of books was built before digital ink was a buzz phrase. The idea for the wall is about recycling and marking territory. What happens to books that no one wants? And like biological death, no one really likes to talk about it. The life of the book is conception, publishing, distribution, storage–and as ideas and trends change, recycled to used book store, library sales, shared with communities without means and then to the dump. The bulk of the wall is forty years of Massachusetts legislative history that I hauled away after one of the many fund-raising sales my local library had to support a new addition to their building. And they ask me every year if I want more books!
This book wall built from a cubic yard of unwanted books and defines my property line opposite another pile of trash–a stone wall built over 150 years ago, unwanted stone collected by a farmer and used to mark a field (I have no stonewall to mark my property). For the sheer romance of the project I carried these books a quarter mile on my back through the woods from my house to the corner of my property. It took me more than a few hours week over two years, thirty to forty pounds at a time. The books were then stacked carefully to build a wall that would last for some time. It is now over ten years old.