The Book Mountains

Posted by jdg | 9:47 AM

Of all the pictures I took when I went back into the book depository after three years, I think this is the only one I want to share. For scale, the brown paint on those columns goes up to about six or seven feet. I would estimate that pile of books and paper to be nine feet high in places. There was a stream running through this part of the building while we were there, and I'm not just using that word casually: it actually seemed to be moving towards that door in the distance marked exit. There was almost a sense of what was going on there as a geological process, from the rusting metal to the breakdown of wood and pulp into something else entirely, all because of the water. It struck me, standing here on this spot, that this was like some absurd landscape painting. What were those piles of "dirt"? What would all this look like in ten more years? Digging into that pile of books and paper, it didn't take long to find reams of paper and notebooks that seemed salvageable, even after two decades of neglect. Most of it was blank white paper like you might use in an art class. What a waste.

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