Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Park yourself with a good book

Many on this blog have noted the ways in which books are presented in various ritual and statuary fashions in our culture.  Here is one example that has been making the rounds of facebook this week.  The photo, attributed to Jonathan Moreau, shows the side of a Kansas City parking garage, adorned to look like a shelf of books.

What struck me, when I saw it, was not just the "larger than life" depiction, but also the choice of books to be depicted.  I can't make out all the titles, but clearly visible are The Lord of the Rings, To Kill a Mockingbird, Romeo and Juliet, A Tale of Two Cities, Charlotte's Web, and Invisible Man.

So I find it interesting that books would be depicted, but also that these books (in many ways, a list of "usual suspects"--an accepted canon) would be chosen.  Not even the books, but the book spines, hold an iconic status in this case.

(JW: For another view, see Book Architecture)

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