That’s a Wrap, Not a Book

The cover of the book made from self-adhesive bandages, entitled Self-Adhesion. ©Christian David Loeffler

In The Book, Borsuk states that a book is “able to take any number of physical forms” (197).  I formed a book out of self-adhesive bandages wrapped about construction paper. Wrapping the bandages around construction paper allowed for the paper to retain form while also allowing the bandages to make the typical rectangular shape of a book. Inside of the book are individual pages also made out of construction paper and wrapped with bandages.

While physicality plays a role, my book is a book based on the fact that it acts as contains literary text, in the form of poetry.  The text itself is what makes the book a book, as opposed to other aspects of the book, such as the cover.  The text exhibits what Carrion defines as a “sequence of moments” by the actions and thoughts that make up the poem inside (1).

Self-adhesive bandages exist in excess inside my room for rare cases of emergency and also for fun with my anime club when we want to dress-up like injured warriors.  The fact that I have bandages in my closet for rare occasions and cases, probably says a lot about how I live in a consumerist environment, where I can waste money on silly items while being tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

While I do like to shop, bandages also remind me of injury and pain.  I chose bandages for the creation of my poetry book, because good poetry comes from someone who has seen the good and bad of nature.  Great poets have seen pain or have even experienced pain first-hand, even if they manage to find the bright side in what they see.  I decided to use orange and yellow bandages from my extensive array of colors, because the colors are bright and upbeat and reflect the optimism poets or readers must find amidst the pain.

I titled my poetry book “Self-Adhesion” because the poetry in the book is supposed to be beautiful and uplifting, to the point where the book can pull someone back together or trigger a personal adhesion.  The poem I present inside of the book is about making the most of one’s life and suits the appearance and overall theme of the book well.  Borsuk defines the book as being “an idea as much as an object,” thus further insinuating the properties of the text as a book based on the strong underlying theme (111).

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A poem I created in 2015, called “The Essence of an Eternity,” serves as a poem reflective of the book’s content and theme.  ©Christian David Loeffler

The book is specifically made to attract a reader via bright colors, but also maintain a more serious stature through the the title, language, and bandage exterior.  When reading the title, the reader should pick up on the dark undertones that may be presented beyond the happy poetry; similar themes are reflected through the poetry itself.  My desired reader is curious and constantly seeking more from life – both good and bad.  The desired reader has a sense of seek truth by unconventional means and likes a story with no true answer, but only opportunities to learn.

Works Cited:

Borsuk, Amaranth. The Book. The MIT Press, 2018.

Carrion, Ulises. The New Art of Making Books. Aegean Editions, 2001.


3 thoughts on “That’s a Wrap, Not a Book”

  1. I love how you used the bandages for the cover, it looks worn and antique! The letters slightly bleed into the bandages which I think is really cool. I think the use of bandages adds a really nice texture to the book, just by looking at it I really want to hold it!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Bandages also evoke the idea of protecting something that has been harmed, which pairs nicely with your concept of poetry as beautiful and uplifting despite pain. Maybe poetry is the bandage we place on our problems to protect them and work through them.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I really appreciate your many insights about your choice of material—particularly how you go as far as to connect it to your socioeconomic status/context. “The fact that I have bandages in my closet for rare occasions and cases, probably says a lot about how I live in a consumerist environment, where I can waste money on silly items while being tens of thousands of dollars in debt.” That observation adds so much range to my reading of your metaphor. The idea of bandaging as costume, the question of whether the wound that it covers is real or pretend, resonates with the idea of your debt (injury!). Is the debt, so large as to seem abstract, “real”? Does your silly frivolous spending cover it up like a bandage? It DOES say a lot, I mean to agree with you.
    Your book also reflects on other questions: when we write about our pain, when we make it art, do we remedy it in a sense? Is art, then, a bandage for real wounds? Also: is the text wrapping up/bandaging the “underlying theme,” which nonetheless, may seep through to the surface?
    Very nice work!


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