Sometimes it is fun to destroy books





verb tr.:
1. To mutilate a book by clipping pictures out of it.
2. To illustrate a book by adding pictures cut from other books.


After James Granger (1723-1776), an English clergyman whose Biographical History of England had blank leaves for illustrations, to be filled with pictures, clippings, etc. by the reader.

Definition from Word.A.Day

Grangerized magazines and books are an extremely odd and interesting phenomenon; therefore, there should be a book about them! I would love to have a coffee table sized book full of torn up, rearranged, DIY-ed magazines that feature idiosyncratic marginalia and doodles. Who hasn’t opened a used textbook and revelled at all the notes, both academic and romantic, that surround those boring graphs and figures?

I first came across the value of grangerized magazines while reading the blog of the incredibly talented and hilarious cartoonist, Michael Kupperman. Kupperman’s blog features his “What’s his name?” collection, which is a collection of pulpy magazines that have been rearranged in odd, inexplicable, and compelling ways. The collection is somewhere between lunacy and brilliance, and is akin to the work of outsider artist Henry Darger.

There must be more collections like this, and along with the myriad of romantically marked textbooks, books of poetry, cookbooks, etc. out there I think a coffee table book of grangerized texts would be a great showpiece.

Moreover, there is a market for such curios. Found Magazine and Ubu web relish in this kind of “found” or outsider art. Grocery lists and street flyers are their stock and trade. I want old copies of Dime Detectives, Time, and Shakespeare’s Sonnets filled with critiques, insights, and carefully drawn hearts with names in them.

Weeping into the pages of his old textbooks,



2 responses to “Sometimes it is fun to destroy books

  1. you have such great ideas , why not make them happen yourself instead of giving away all of this brillance? Henry Darger is so interesting …as are your many creative ideas. Keep it up.

  2. I have a bunch of old teen beats with all the pics of Corey haim cut out. Maybe you could use them? Too soon? Please though, no more weeping. A good cry is OK, but no more weeping. As an older brother I ask very little.

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