Thursday, June 30, 2011

Startled by Book Art

Book Art: Has Iowa City Gone Too Far?
I was out of town and needed something to read other than Jane Austen. Only War and Peace would do on a hot day in Iowa City.  Naturally my copy was in my living room at home. 

So I went on a tour of bookstores and ended up startled by gigantic book art

Murphy-Brookfield Books, a lovely used bookstore with a huge literature selection and a tortoiseshell cat, had the Pevear-Volokhonsky, but I needed a smaller copy for my bike pannier. I was on my way to another bookstore when  I was gobsmacked by art.  A gigantic statue of the Stieg Larsson trilogy loomed above me.  

Had Iowa City gotten carried away with its status as a UNESCO City of Literature? Was a sculpture of a thriller near Iowa Book & Supply a comment on the decline in reading?
 And then I found the other statues:  One of Marilynne Robinson's Home (she lives in Iowa City, so I get it), another of Treasure Island, and...

It turns out that this exhibit of 25 statues, known as BookMarks Book Art in Johnson County, was the inspiration of Iowa City library director Susan Craig.  The statues are on display through October and will be auctioned off in November to benefit the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature, Iowa City Public Library, Coralville Public Library and North Liberty Community Library. 

So you see it's all rather sweet.   You can see the statues here.   

And I did find my copy of War & Peace.

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