19 August 18: Book saboteurs unite

When I was a school librarian, I frequently had keep an eye out for children sat poised with pencils, ready to scribble in books. I always felt like a bit of a hypocrite: as a kid, I was an unabashed and prolific book saboteur. Let’s get this straight: they were always my books, and I did it by way of ‘improving’ them (I drew a twinkling star above the stable in a book about Jesus. There was one on the previous page: this was a simple matter of continuity). To this day, I still get a fizz of excitement from material things being altered and defaced, hence my eternal love affair with street art and the beautifully subversive work of @carriereichardt & @rebelnottaken (read about their Cash is King project which venerates the art of defacing). And then there are the very deliberate scrawlings of my friend’s daughter Sissi, aged seven, who yesterday declared to me, ‘I LOVE graffiti!!!!’ before showing me the embellishments on her bedroom wall (‘Go Sissi’ plus an annotated rainbow, just in case you’ve forgotten what ‘prpel’ looks like. I’m spelling it like that from now on). Hands up who scrawled on walls and in books when they were a kid and what did it say? Don’t worry, we won’t judge: you’re amongst friends 😉

Martha, The Colour File x

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