The Book Mind

by strannikov

The book mind is an organ of paper, a paper organ, its tissue and synapses are paper and cellulose and its thoughts are ink (never toner). Because ink is printed, however light or delicate, the book mind may show signs of tooth marks, where the depth of metal type will have bitten the paper on its way to the binder (pages of mind printed with the shallowest photo-impression of ink skidding across less durable sheets exhibit no firm bites). The equation of soul and tooth found in actual type printing glimmers across page after pages of the book mind.


The book mind is serviceable and comes equipped with a table of contents, which conveys at least but only the illusion of temporal linearity, of printed sequence, since the print flutters on the pages of the book mind. Some book minds feature other helpful appurtenances: foreword, preface, introduction, chronological tables (which themselves suggest the illusion of temporal linearity) of columned sequence, maps, plates, notes, appendices, bibliographies, indices. All book minds come equipped with gutters.


The book mind, just like its namesake the book, is capable of movement only after its assembly: otherwise, it boasts no moving parts. Pages of fluttering text can be flipped or pawed, whiffed or tossed, torn or burned, dusted or ignored, receptions which in themselves pose no threat to the working(s) of the book mind. Shelves are full of unread book minds, never fear, hence libraries are complete with unread shelves of book minds.