Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cut It Out!

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." --Garrison Keillor

Once, when I was a college freshman, I sat in an editing session in a composition class and listened to another student recount his experience researching a paper in the library. He found some pertinent information in a reference book and wanted to make a copy, but discovered that he only had a twenty dollar bill, which the library change machine would not accept. Instead, Genius looked around, made sure nobody was watching, and quickly ripped the page of information from the book. As our little group listened to his tale, we all laughed and expressed our horror at his actions. I don't think it ever crossed his mind to write the important facts down on a piece of paper.

A couple years later, I was working on another research paper and needed some stats from the library. You can probably guess where this is going, but when I located the book and opened to the correct page, I discovered that the information I needed had been ripped out! I'm pretty sure the same guy was not to blame, which means that there were at least two page-rippers striking innocent reference books on my college campus.

Fast forward ten years, and I'm a student-turned-teacher-turned-stay-at-home-mom perusing home design sites in my minimal spare time. I see cute decorating ideas daily, and seldom do I attempt an activity, but the pictures sure are pretty to look at. It's a harmless way to pass the time, plus it's fun and relaxing.

But this week, I've run across two separate crafts for children's rooms, and both, if you can believe it, involve purposely destroying vintage children's books in the name of art. I refuse to post the links for these projects, lest any of you crafty types feel inspired and decide to take a pair of scissors to an old copy of Run, Spot, Run.

Let this be a lesson to Martha Stewart-wannabes everywhere: it is not okay to destroy a book, which is essentially someone else's art, in an effort to create a whimsical piece that will adorn your baby's nursery until he is five, at which point it will be thrown in the trash when you redecorate his room in a SpongeBob SquarePants theme.

It is not okay, dear sister, to rip pages from a cookbook to recreate a scene from a Pottery Barn catalog.

And it is not okay, Miss Famous Mommy Blogger, to rip pages from a children's book to frame and hang on your walls, even if, Oh my God, it is the most beautiful picture that you have ever seen in your life and you call your husband into the room to come look at it now. Right this minute. Because it is so beautiful and you have to share this moment with someone and your older daughter is at kindergarten and the baby is sleeping and the dogs don't have the proper vocabulary needed to appreciate the beauty of this piece. You know who you are.

Consider yourselves warned!