Beyond the pages of a book

By Nick Fonda
Beyond the pages of a book
(Photo : Courtesy)

Hélène Boulé admits that there is something just a little sacrilegious about what she does with books. Her improvised workspace is a dining room table covered with felt pens, glue sticks, watercolour paints, beads, scissors, rulers, utility knives, and especially books—in various states of transformation into secret boxes and Christmas decorations.
Up until two years ago, books had played a more traditional role in her life.
“I remember as a young child leafing through the dictionary,” she says. “I was determined that I would read it all, although of course, I never did. I also vividly recall a young adult series that captivated me when I was nine or ten. The protagonist was named Alice, and she was better at solving mysteries than her father, who was a policeman. I still treasure those books, and I occasionally add to my collection when I find one that I don’t have.”
Since then, she has read more extensively, enough to earn first a bachelor’s and then a master’s degree in Philosophy. Reading, in fact, is core to her part-time day job as an editor of manuals and promotional material for an industrial enterprise.
“Books have always been very precious to me,” she says, “but there are two different aspects to a book. On the one hand a book is a source of information and ideas. A book can bring comfort or inspiration and can affect us very profoundly. But, from a different perspective, a book is also a physical thing, a solid, heavy, three-dimensional block of paper.”
Subscribe now for full story and more.

Share this article