|The Reading Room, February 3, 2012|
Beginning last January, when it opened, I have been continually visiting The Reading Room, an installation at the Berkeley Art Museum. In the spirit of the Little Free Library, The Reading Room offers a place to take and leave books, although in this case there is an admission because of its museum setting. Go on the first Thursday of the month, however, and you will get in free. Each visit provides a slightly different experience as the character of the books changes. The original new and glossy small press books overwhelmed it at first, then there were the many books brought in by random visitors, and now there are fewer books overall: mostly the overstock small press books again.
On my last visit, which was September 7, I noticed three handmade objects made of book pages. While they were a bit crudely put together, they also carried a vitality with them that warmed up the room. Someone has been making things intentionally to leave there, which I find inspiring. When I go next I just might bring something, too.
The Reading Room is on exhibit until December 9. Maybe we can all leave some art behind.
A paper box sitting atop a collage
Altered and photocopied book pages taped together
Collaged text and a couple of assembled pages