‘Take my Book and Rip Out All the Pages…’ – Lost Art Press


Today I went to a book reading by Nick Offerman in support of his latest book “Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop.” Megan Fitzpatrick at Popular Woodworking Magazine bought us tickets, and the price of the ticket included a copy of his book.

I’m going to write a book report on “Good Clean Fun” as soon as I finish consuming it. If the readings Offerman gave today are any indication, I will need to invest in some adult diapers for the experience.

I do want to share one beautiful moment during the program.

Right after Offerman took the stage he told the following to the audience (I’m going to paraphrase because I wasn’t taking steno):

Take my book and rip out all the pages. Roll them into joints. Sell the joints. Take the money you earned from selling those joints and buy every book written by Wendell Berry.

For those of you who don’t know Mr. Berry, he is a literary giant who lives in Henry County, Ky. He’s a Faulkner-esque novelist, poet and agricultural activist who works through the Berry Center. (The book reading was also to support the work of the Berry Center.)

I first encountered Berry’s writing when we moved to Lexington, Ky., in 1993. The first real friends we made in town – Chris and Lee Poore – had graduated from Western Kentucky University and were huge fans of Berry’s work. I’ve been a fan ever since.

I do want to chastise Offerman for one aspect of his call to action. His new book is printed on coated paper, which won’t burn very well. And though I don’t smoke (anything), I suspect that the paper coating will also inhibit the flow of gases.

So if you are going to try this stunt, I recommend ripping up one of my black-and-white books, such as “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest,” which is printed on uncoated, acid-free paper. Also, my book has more pages, so you’ll make more money.

— Christopher Schwarz

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