part of the ongoing series
October 8 - October 24, 2021
Mary Tasillo is a Philadelphia-based paper, print, and book artist as well as an educator, arts organizer, and accidental zine librarian. Mary is Director of Common Press, the letterpress & book arts studio at the University of Pennsylvania, and co-founder of The Soapbox: Community Print Shop & Zine Library. She works collaboratively as part of the street-based Book Bombs project. She has worked with numerous community and arts institutions around Philadelphia.
See full details about the Summer Library project, including other Librarians' work, here.
To Live is to Read; To Read is to Live
But to read is not necessary to create a library. Books are sometimes containers for the worlds they hold within. At other times, the object of the book or the ideas conveyed by the title create the meaning – the sum total of the titles, the text printed on the spine of the book, creates the library. Like Gatsby’s uncut pages in the books in his library, we design libraries not for reading but for the story the collection tells about us.
I grew up in a house lined with hundreds of books. As an adult, I bought books, I read some, and I purged them. The ones that remained told a few different stories: the story of a career (books I used in teaching or for research), the story of who I wanted to be (books of poetry I hadn’t read), the story of things that happened along the way (how-to’s on house buying or fiscal sponsorship).
I’ve chosen books from the Summer Library to represent parts of my life story that would never be represented in my home library shelves, as well as adding books I’ve made to it.