Thursday, 31 July 2014

Wreck This Journal/Finish This Book: What Are They?

Now that I’ve finished with my Day Zero Project posts I’ve decided to share another on-going project that I’ve been working on.

I don’t remember exactly when I first became aware of Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal. I know of all her books it was the first one that came to my attention. It probably shows just how much I’ve changed in the three or four years since I first heard of it because my initial reaction was one of horror. Why would you want to buy a book just to destroy it?

Because that’s the whole point of Wreck This Journal. It’s a book that you set out to, well, wreck. It’s a journal and on each page there are weird and wonderful suggestions for ways to wreck it, each more destructive than the one before.

As I said, this did not appeal to me at all. But times have changed. I’ve taken part in ‘Book Tree’s where you exchange books with friends and write in them as you read. I’ve studied literature texts and made notes in the margins. I’ve kind of become my own person and it turns out that sometimes when you read a book multiple times it’s okay to write in it because it becomes a little bit like a scrapbook that means something special to you. I’ve learnt that things don’t have to be perfect all the time and that even though you’re (apparently) grown up, it’s okay to get messy, be silly and do things that other people would frown about.

So when I saw Finish This Book in Oban the day before my birthday it triggered a little spark of recollection. A few weeks later I decided that I deserved a treat and found myself drawn to Keri Smith’s collection of books on Amazon. I’d only intended to get one, but I just couldn’t narrow it down; I wanted them all. In the end I settled for Wreck This Journal and Finish This Book.

Finish This Book is in a similar sort of vein to Wreck This Book except it’s a voyage of discovery rather than destruction. Whereas Wreck This Book encourages you to do the tasks in any order, Finish This Book must be completed from beginning to end, without skipping ahead or sneaking a peek at what is to come. They’re kind of opposites of each other in a way. Finish This Book kind of reminds me of the Series of Unfortunate Events books that I’ve been reading recently; there’s a mystery that you’ve got to discover as you read. I’m still quite close to the beginning and I’ve been really good about not spoiling myself by searching online, so I don’t know what that mystery is yet.

Wreck This Journal on the other hand has no such secret. I was so impatient for it to arrive that I spent hours looking at pictures of what other people had done with their journals. Seriously, go Google it right now. There are some very arty people in the world.

Alas, I am not one of them. But I like to think I’m somewhat creative, so each Thursday I’ll be posting snippets from one of these two books. If you’ve got one yourself, feel free to share you work as well.

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