When I first heard of this exercise “friends with an old book” I didn’t really know what to expect. I was never the type of person who really liked reading books, so I was relieved knowing we don’tactually have to read it. But how should the book become my friend without me even reading it?
The friendship should start by getting to know the facts of the book, which made perfect sense to me.
So my friends name is L’Art universel des fortifications, françoises, holandoises, espagnoles, italiennes, et composées written in french by Jean Du Breuil, 1665 in Paris. I found some digital copies and I located the book at the ETH-Bibliothek.
The second task was by far the most interesting one. If you want to become friends with someone you have to meet them in real life and that’s what I did at the ETH-Bibliothek. To be honest I wasn’t really excited to go to the library and film myself for twenty minutes reading this book. But after arriving there and the book was handed to me carefully on a pillow I started to realise what a special moment this actually is. Not every day you get the opportunity to leaf through an over 350 year old book. After I got the book and gently started to look through it I wasn’t even mad about not really understanding most of the old French. I was more focused on the illustrations and how the old book was looking and thinking about what all it’s probably been through. I actually liked that task, even do or because I wasn’t expecting a lot. I can’t say that about Task three and four…
The third task Lineage hasn’t been much use to me, I only found out that there were three different editions of the book. I had to force myself doing the Task Text&Image. At this part of our friendship I started to question the use of this exercise. I did not know how this is benefitting myself. I wasn’t in a good mood, so I have mostly negative feelings about that task.
The last exercise was fortunately more fun again. My book was competing with three other books at a speed date. It was the only task we had to work in a group. I think it would have helped the whole process of “friends with an old book” if we had the opportunity to discuss it more with other people.
Overall, I don’t believe that I’m now friends with an old book. There wasn’t enough connection between me and the book. The highlight was the physical contact with a such an old book. But in the end I don’t have the feeling that I learned a lot form the book, it was more an attempted approach than a friendship.