Book Titles As Poetry

by Sholeh Hajmiragha

Since 1993, artist Nina Katchadourian has been reworking books and their titles in her own ongoing visual and literary art project entitled Sorted Books.  Katchadourian combs through books, pulling particular titles and grouping books together to form short sequences of titles that can be read together.  She collects books from different places, ranging from private homes to public collections.  As Katchadourian states on her website, “Taken as a whole, the clusters from each sorting aim to examine that particular library’s focus, idiosyncrasies, and inconsistencies – a cross-section of that library’s holdings.”

With over 130 clusters, Katchadourian’s project has now been compiled into a book, which spans her nearly two decades of work.  As Maria Popova notes, “In an era drowned in periodic death tolls for the future of the physical book, her project stands as a celebration of the spirit embedded in the magnificent materiality of the printed page.”

Some of my favorite arrangements are shown below, but be sure to check out Katchadourian’s website for more of her book spine poems. And you can pick up your own copy of Sorted Books from Chronicle Books right here!

Photos via

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