How was I going to photograph endless piles of books for two whole hours, I wondered. My photography class was visiting the building that houses The Friends of the Library Book Sale, and just seeing all the shelves and boxes crammed from floor to ceiling with books was activating some of my darkest deep-hidden emotional responses.
For months I’d been de-cluttering my house. Clothing, kitchenware, tchotchkes, outdated electronics… old books, many of which were among the accumulations at The Friends of the Library. My home had felt lighter and I’d felt less depressed after unloading so much of my stuff. But here, in this jam-packed place, I felt my breath trapped in my chest. It was like I could sense the countless agitated souls of all the homeless books taking flight. And I had this unshakeable need to escape.
It took several days to gather up the courage to view the photos I’d taken. Finally, dropping them into Photoshop, I rotated an image of shelved books ninety degrees and extended the concrete floor to concoct an unsettling gray sky. Then, de-saturating the color on the trim of an old oak bookcase, I crafted a frame for my fabricated landscape of the week.
Altered Horizons 70