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Replacing old books with pictures of old books

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  • Replacing old books with pictures of old books

    I have a half-dozen metre-wide shelves with books, organized by category. They've been collecting dust for 15 years. They've become more wall paper than anything, but are part of What I Know. I don't want to lug them around anymore, but want to capture them somehow.

    So, the thought I had is to photograph each shelf, print the photos, mount the photos on foamcore, and put the mounted pictures in the shelves, so I can fill the space with other things to dust. Lighter things than books at least. I could even mount them on a wall and get rid of shelves. Then I get rid of the books.

    I want the best resolution I can get, so I expect to have to knit a bunch of images together, which I can do, possibly photographing the spine of each book individually. Or maybe rigging up some kind of track to photograph each shelf in section. Then there's lighting to think of...

    So I Ask Ed for advice from pro/hardcore photographers that know way more than I do.
    I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

  • #2
    I like the concept of faux books to maintain your nostalgic memories. Couldn't you just photocopy the the book- back and front in one piece- then wrap it in styrofoam? That way they look more authentic? I would even apply thin laminates to the photo to prevent moisture damage and for easy dusting wiping if needed.

    Keep the books you really enjoy or have sentimental values and add that to the faux arrangements.
    Real books are often used as interior decorative concepts now.
    " The strength of a man is in the stride he walks."

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    • #3
      you haven't said what you would do with the books once you had photographed them "in situ" as there isn't much of a market for used books even if you were planning to try and give them away.

      the result of that lack of demand is that many of the faux library shelf books you see in restaurants or bars or stores are actually real books that have literally been saw-cut to within a couple of inches of the spine binding and then been placed on shallow shelves or at the back of full depth shelves with room for ornaments and pictures etc. in front of them. you may even be able to have that done for less than the cost of photographing and printing them and the end result (pardon the pun) will be more realistic albeit at the cost of real books.
      "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

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      • #4
        I'll give away what I can - many are desirable technical books - some are desirable because they're free - and the rest will go to recycling I suppose.

        I did think of bandsawing off the spines and mounting those, but that Just Seems Wrong. Dunno if I could do it... but after all this time I'm a "Hey you could use mine" offer away from just doing it.
        I am in no way entitled to your opinion...

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        • #5
          You mentioned technical books, so may I ask what faculty they pertain too?
          " The strength of a man is in the stride he walks."

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