I spent most of Tuesday night abusing books.
For the show in Serenbe at the end of the month, we got the Emory Library to donate a bunch of the books they were going to throw out to use as set pieces and props. I drove the first load of books down this week and we're probably getting another carload coming up. In the Fringe show, my main prop was a piece of gray fabric, which became every single prop I needed, partly for stagecraft and art, partly because I needed to have a super portable show and I got the fabric for free.
Now I have CARLOADS of books to play with. CARLOADS! And I don't have to carry them all in a backpack everywhere I go. Oh the luxury...
It turns out there's a lot you can do with books. We threw them around and stacked them and knocked them over and, after a wee bit of trepidation, ripped pages out. It felt so evil and devious. Ripping a book?! WHAT??!
But once I had gotten my ingrained fear of pissing off the spectral elementary school librarians I fear haunt me, um, ripping pages out of books is super fun. Dangerously fun. Totally awesome. And now we've found a whole bunch of places where I get to rip stuff.
You know, for the stagecraft and the art and stuff.
But while we're talking about books, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Belated Banned Books Week.
And if some of these titles are troubling, Huff Post has provided a convenient list of alternate titles for some frequently challenged books. For example, Harold Zinn's "A People's History of the United States," has been re-titled to "White People Ruin Everything." Apt, eh?
One book recently challenged was Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, and the author wrote a lovely blog post about the banning of the book including an immensely moving poem based on reader responses.
And appreciating books makes me feel less guilty about ripping them up (and much less guilty about having so much fun ripping them up.