In conclusion, of my one year-long relationship with my book I have come to appreciate the staggering amounts of old literature that we are not aware of most of the time. Literature is a physical database, information that we need to capture and safe hold in order to understand our own past and create the future. It is interesting how in a way I feel like I can sense the personality of the author of my book, without even reading it. In that regard, I have learned much more than I had expected from this exercise about the book and its author. The exercise “lineage” said much about the book’s adaptation and made me understand more about the lifecycle of the book. I was able to approximate the field in which the book had been read to a certain time and tried to imagine what other people might have thought upon reading the book themselves. “Contact” probably was the most important exercise to really identify the book as physical matter and therefore recognise its relevancy. Seeing, touching and feeling an old book like that is something that everyone can do, but nobody does. This interaction with prescribed item made the exercise somewhat personal, which was exactly what the students needed to motivate them for the further tasks.
I encountered a couple problems when dealing with my book over the past year. However, I would say that it was part of the exercise that we learn to deal with these minor issues and find a solution to them. That is what “Friends with an old book” was all about to me. Even if there were book availability issues or the translations for the exercise “Text and Image” did not turn out nice, it was necessary that I found a way to fulfil the requirements of the exercise. While mastering the difficulties I had with the book, I learned a lot about the book. When I did not have any issues with the exercise it made me even more appreciative of the book and I invested time in understanding it, instead of solving technical issues.
I understand that the process of dealing with the book is the actual added value I get and not the finished exercise, however, I think in the time we spent more could have been accomplished. Maybe this means that there are more and more interesting exercises or maybe it means that for a next time a whole new concept must be developed. I think that the format of dealing with books is, at first strange, but a new and exiting opportunity. The scope of work we had to accomplish was completely doable. Like I mentioned above, I would like more, maybe smaller exercises that have a large variety in topics and cover many aspects of a book and therefore can strengthen the friendship between the book and myself.