This lovely tired morning and looking over the current draft for the second iteration of The New Manifesto of the NewLights Press. Here’s an excerpt:
If we are to engage with the labor of making books we must not do so only in an effort to preserve them and the traditional crafts that go into making them. We must not lock them in the display cases, the glass coffins, of the museum. The book has a long history, but it is not, never has been, must never be, an object frozen in time. The book has a long history, but it is our job, as producers and readers, to make sure that it continues to have a living present. Everything that we cherish about books, about making them, reading them, owning them, collecting them, living with and through them, will be preserved if they continue to be culturally relevant. We must keep them out of the museums, out of the archives. They must live in our libraries, in our streets, in our stores, on our bookshelves, and in our hands.
Books are not art in the traditional sense. Books do not require viewers. A book viewed is a book dead. Books need readers, and thus they must circulate outside of the venues of art alone. A book read is a book alive, breathing, beating, shining and reverberating through its readers.