November 10th, 2010
wreck this box

wreck this box

the boxed set is out now! I saw someone had posted pictures of the instructions on the back of it. But I don’t want to give them away here (in case you are the kind of person who likes surprises). It’s really cool.

Really really cool.

I remember when I was working at my first bookstore job in high school (the first of many), during the Christmas season it was an exciting thing to unpack and shelve all of the shiny new boxed sets. I recall a feeling of being invited on a journey. There was a different energy in the store and the promise of immersing yourself into the world of a writer for an extended time. It was more of a commitment to embark on a whole series, you really had to love it and sink yourself into it. And sometimes you would purchase a boxed set just because you loved the author and wanted to have a set that was consistent design-wise. In those days there were often many different cover designs available so it was nice to have ones that matched, (or in a size that matched). Oh, how I coveted my Madelaine L’Engle series.

There are so many things I miss about working in a bookstore around the holidays. The music, the chaos, the challenge of finding that “perfect” book for a customer, or even just finding the one they were looking for. I lived for the “book mysteries” people would bring to you, (“it has a white cover and there is something about a red fish in the title”). I still feel that I had a real gift for this, able to deduce a title from the most obscure clues. One had to be up on the current books though. You had to read the book section of the paper every weekend, and you had to listen to the book shows on the radio. And you had to read as much as humanly possible. For me the reading was like an endless journey through a large forest that you never wanted to leave. Every book was full of new possibilities and many had the potential to change you forever. And they did.

What you don’t think about at the time, or what I didn’t think about is the fact that each book is connects you to a time and place. In this way books are temporal, the experience of reading is a way of marking your days. I was listening recently to a lecture about the future of books by James Bridle and in it he talks about how the book (the artifact) becomes a souvenir, marking the time and your existence. This is why incidentally he thinks that ebooks are not doing so well, they do not offer us a souvenir to remember our experience by.) We associate the object with a memory, and just by picking it up again we are quickly transported back. This explains why it is hard to let go of our favorite books, even when we know they take up too much space on our shelves.

I enjoy thinking about someone opening up one of my boxed sets on Xmas morning and setting off on a slightly strange journey with my ideas. We will become partners of sorts. Maybe they will spill some egg nog onto the pages. The books themselves will become linked to the excitement of the moment. Maybe they will do some of the pages with their family, and have a few laughs in the process.

I would really love it if that happened.

Nov 11 2010
2:21 am
xulin writes:

Very like your book.Very like this box.I’ve found it in the Amazon.It will be mine.Thank you for such a good books.

Nov 11 2010
6:20 am
Steffi writes:

I love this post so much, it deeply touches my heart! I’m a bookseller by training but haven’t worked in a bookshop for one year and 8 months. Your post reminded me of the excitement of finding “the book”… like a treasure hunt… and the sense of achievement afterwards.

I have a feeling I’ll give myself a present in form of this box in the not-so-far-away-future.

Nov 11 2010
8:56 am
Annelien writes:

I actually spotted them yesterday in a Belgian bookstore! they looked very attractive. Sadly i already own two of them, otherwise I’d have gotten the box :)

Nov 11 2010
1:43 pm
francesca dileo writes:

i just bought mess, this is not a book, and how to be an explorer of the world at my university book store. IN LOVE with the ideas you’ve put forward. when i’m feeling creatively stuck and/or bored, i pull out one of your ‘books’ (that’s not really a book lol) and it gets my creative juices flowing again.

ps i especially love it when you post names for further research… have learned soooo much, oulipo, pollock, queneau, holy smokes, the list goes on. makes me understand the prompts and propels further reading and research.

Nov 12 2010
2:50 am
pixie writes:

i love that idea, too. that kids and parents will get into it together, that the books will get passed around-dad sitting on the couch dripping a bit of coffee on one of the pages, mom laughing and making a doodle with someone’s brand new marking pen.
your art and works bring so much possibility and open thinking into our family…where would we be without the uncomfortable messes that push us past our fussy edges?

Nov 14 2010
12:22 pm
Folkscallmejonny writes:

Thanks for sharing the personal stuff, Keri. Do our early experiences of work shape what comes later or do they contain the seeds of how we will earn our livings later in life? We earn our livings not just in currency, but in the meanings we create and the people and ideals we support.

Nov 14 2010
2:42 pm
Laura George writes:

Hi Keri!
After buying the Wreck This Journal for my nephews, I picked up Explorer of the World for myself. I’ve been blogging my tasks. I’m only on #12 but I am really enjoying it so far! Thought you might like to see!
http://wherethegoldbeesdream.blogspot.com/2010/11/exploration-12-fifty-things.html

I love your creative thinking and look forward to more books from you in the future! I’m sure I’ll be buying them all!

Nov 16 2010
10:45 pm
maya writes:

i really want to read these books i read wreck this journal but i have to read your others i will buy them

Nov 16 2010
10:49 pm
daniella writes:

hi keri i am daniella i am a huge fan of your books i need some tips on how to become a great writter please help me if you can huge fan plese repliy thanxs xoxxo

Nov 16 2010
10:53 pm
daniella writes:

hey keri i have had wreck this journal for a long time i am dying to read the others big time fan and long time reader thank you i cant wait to go get the next on

Nov 17 2010
2:00 pm
Mary(hassound) writes:

Hi Keri.
I wanted to let you know that I haven’t read a book in…well, years. I got out of the habit of it and have missed it but didn’t realize I was missing it…until I found your books. I’ve owned Wreck This Journal for a while but recently I found the Explorer of the World book and I read every word in one night. Then I ordered the Living Out Loud book and I stayed up late last night making a huge dent in it.

I wanted to thank you for getting me to read again and for inspiring me to live.

Mary

Nov 20 2010
5:04 pm
Soundless writes:

I must say this blog you did is beautiful. I have thought of books like this before but I never thought of the journey it truely takes us on. The smell of the book. The rips and tares in the pages and the cover. It’s what makes it all unqie. No book is the same. And also I cant wait for the next time I go to the bookstore. Im rebuying Wreck this Journal This is not a book, and Mess. I just loved taking these j,ournies so much.

Nov 25 2010
12:06 am
chantal writes:

I am interested in the box itself as a design/illustration student, and because I’ve bought every book of yours as soon as its come out for years – which means I already have your books, and don’t have a fancy box for them.
Maybe you could provide a fun template? Just an idea… I might just make my own :)

Nov 26 2010
6:59 pm
Maria writes:

I just got my Box today!!! Your books go against everything I was taught about respecting books! This is more exhilarating than bun-jee jumping for me! :)

Jan 15 2011
9:57 am
saskia writes:

I just got this box for christmas… this was the BEST present i EVER got !!! Thank you

May 8 2012
7:24 pm
Mary Dean writes:

I’ve wanted to get Wreck This Journal, but I haven’t found it yet! All my friends have it and it looks like an elephant of fun!

Jul 31 2012
6:34 pm
Kim writes:

Im saving up for it I can’t wait

 
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