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What clever people can do with discarded books

By Christine Renaud
Artists and non artists alike who are interested in creating art pieces, furnishings or interesting objects from books otherwise destined to be recycled, are invited to take part in a unique art show and sale.

“DiscARTed” is a fundraising art show presented in partnership between The County of Prince Edward Public Library & Archives and the Prince Edward County Authors Festival.

There is no cost to participate and the items will be available for sale with 50 per cent of the profits for the artist and the other 50 per cent shared equally between the library and the Authors Festival.  Completed pieces must be delivered by Oct. 8. The DiscARTed Show & Sale will be held upstairs at Books & Company from Oct. 11-20.

“We have many books that are past their useful life,” says library CEO Barbara Sweet.

Books that are damaged, have been in the library’s used book sale for a long time and are clearly not going to sell because they are no longer relevant, or ones that contain information that is no longer accurate, are all examples of the type of books that must be recycled. Sweet admits that this is an unfortunate reality for libraries, but one that has also presented an opportunity to hold what promises to be an exciting fundraiser.

Members of the Board of the Prince Edward County Authors Festival David Sweet, Alexandra Bake and Barbara Burns-Sweet, who happen to own Books & Company, also have books that are destined to be recycled.  And the two non-profits share another similarity; their goals of heightening awareness of, and promoting, literacy.

“The DiscARTed Art Show and Sale is a perfect match in many ways,” says Sweet, “and one that we hope will stir people’s imaginations for a good cause.”

The creative use of books as art material is evident on many websites and blogs on the Internet, and a simple search for “recycling books into art” or “furniture from recycled books” yields an amazing number of ideas.  There are also various books available on the topic.

Once participants decide on a project and the approximate number of books they might need, they can also obtain books by dropping in to the Picton branch or calling 476-5962 to make an appointment, or they may contact Books & Company at 476-3037 to make an appointment to browse the books available there.

Books used in the submitted piece(s) must be from The County of Prince Edward County Public Library books designated for recycling or from those of Books & Company. The books will be available for free.  Pieces may be created or constructed with materials other than books, but books must figure prominently.

“Pieces need to be delivered upstairs at the bookstore either October 7th or 8th,” says David Sweet, “so that we can organize the show.”

Three Peoples’ Choice Awards will be presented on the 20th of October to coincide with the International Festival of Authors Lit on Tour event being held at Books & Company.

Lit On Tour is part of the IFOA’s touring program which brings respected Canadian and International authors to a few select locations in Ontario.  This year’s writers include Joanne Harris, Arno Kopecky and Grace O’Connell.

“The combination of a book-based art show and these excellent authors should prove to make for a special evening,” says David Sweet.

For more information about the show, contact the County of Prince Edward Public Library or Books & Company, or e-mail:

Filed Under: Arts & CultureLocal News

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  1. Janet Davies says:

    Aaaargghh! tearing up books (Nooooo!) Making them into Art (Yesssss!) I’m so conflicted. But I am so IN!

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