The Analogue Reader: The Library of Unborrowed Books


You must be a bibliophile if you've been following this little reading corner of the Lomography Magazine, so I won't be surprised if the recent work of a Stockholm-based artist will tug at your heartstrings. Read about a library comprised of forgotten, ignored, unwanted books after the jump.

I confess, my heart broke a bit upon reading about the recent work of Stockholm-based artist Meriç Algün Ringborg. As its name suggests, The Library of Unborrowed Books was a collection of books that are forgotten, left behind, deemed unworthy of reading, and hence, have never been borrowed. Well, except by the artist for the first and maybe the only time ever, for this art installation which ran for three weeks.

The lonely library was comprised of 600 unborrowed books from the Stockholm Public Library and raised an intriguing question: Why are they being ignored?

On her work, the artist eloquently tells us:

“Why these books aren’t ‘chosen,’ why they are overlooked, will never be clear but whatever each book contains, en masse they become representative of the gaps and cracks of history, or the bureaucratic cataloging of the world and the ambivalent relationship between absence and presence. In this library their existence is validated simply by being borrowed, underlining their being as well as their content and form by putting them on display in an autonomous library dedicated to the books yet to have been revealed.”

Personally, I’m the type who would pick up a random book in a library out of curiosity, and I bet I might have plucked a book off this heart-wrenching collection (as long as it’s in English, of course) and brought it home with me.

Fellow analogue readers, any insights about this work? Share your thoughts with us with a comment below!

All photos and information for this article were sourced from The Library of Unborrowed Books by Meriç Algün Ringborg.

written by plasticpopsicle on 2012-10-29 in #lifestyle #lomography #the-library-of-unborrowed-books #the-analogue-reader #library #books #meric-algun-ringborg #analogue-lifestyle


  1. 110isnotdead
    110isnotdead ·

    Just shed a tear into one of my library books :'(
    Great article though :)

  2. ayer
    ayer ·

    It does make you wonder what could be "wrong" with those books, and certainly that increases the curiosity.
    In my opinion, not all books are worth reading, but it is sad the idea of a book having no one to read it; since writing is a form of communication through time and space, and to think of those author's thoughts being "trapped" inside those unread pages.... i'm getting dramatic XD

  3. holgardo
    holgardo ·

    A true theme for analoguers (of course, an invented word): books. Books are analogue technology at its best.
    I agree with @ayer it's kind of tragic that words from an author are unreaded.

  4. liquorice
    liquorice ·

    I think as @ayer, not every single book is worth reading, but I think this initiative is great for those books, as far as some people could have some interest now they know them.

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