Gifts and Treasures – a story of mysterious book sculptures in four parts

Books come in many forms – standard hard and paperbacks, ebooks, audio books etc. However, it’s truly astonishing what some books can be transformed into. They no longer contain stories and characters – they become them.


An anonymous artist saw something more in books than just covers and all that was held between them. This artist decided to show everyone the importance of the words books contain.

‘In making sculptures from books I saw a pale shadow of the wonder that is reading, where black marks can become scientific theories, romantic poems… gruesome stories. This raises the question ‘does a book on being read remain a book?’ And so I chose to transform the books into other things…’ quote from the artist

It’s up to the reader to decide what happens to books later. Some will be kept, some given away and some will become a literary world of its own.

10 book gifts were delivered to various locations in Edinburgh. Each one of them crafted with sublime attention to detail. They were magically transformed to visually manifest a meaning of literature, books, libraries etc.


They were all gathered together and currently tour Scotland.

From my own experience I can say that they are not only outstanding pieces of art. They captured my imagination from the moment I saw them. Each one of them has a different story to say. I love them all, but I also have my favourites.


Lost In A Good Book

A girl lost in the world of the book she’s been reading.

I was fortunate to have a childhood filled with books and stories. As an adult I still am that girl who gets totally engrossed in reading from the moment I open a book. This sculpture could be a modern icon of need to encourage people to read – no matter what age and social status. Not everyone can afford books, but libraries are amazing places and they should be supported, not closed one by one.

No 10 Street Scene: THE WRITERS’ MUSEUM

Street Scene

Who is hiding in the shadows?

This one has been haunting me since I laid my eyes on it. Or since I imagined myself walking along that street – hurrying home with a leather-bound book under my arm, the hood of my coat protecting me from fresh snow falling down to cover blood stains on the pavement. There had been another unexplained murder in the area. No one was able to look into the eyes of passers-by.  I love spooky Gothic stories – and that’s how easy it is for me to get carried away. Which story will haunt you – go and see it to experience the power with which this sculptures will draw you right in.

GIFTED The Edinburgh Book Sculptures on Tour 2012

Aberdeen: Central Library – 17/08/12 – 06/09/12

Dundee: Central Library – 07/09/12 – 25/09/12

Wigtown Book Festival: The Studio – 28/09/12 – 07/10/12

Glasgow: Mitchell Library – 09/10/12 – 27/10/12

Dunfermline: Carnegie Library: 30/09/12 – 18/11/12

Edinburgh: Scottish Poetry Library: 24/10/12 – 08/12/12

There’s still time to see them in their home town.


The Anonymous Artist strikes back!

I woke up quite late today – my last day of holiday. I had so many things to do, but as usual, I turned my computer on and that was the lethal strike for my ‘to do list’. I got drawn in to the treasure hunt. Not an ordinary one, though they are fun. The prize for this one was one of the book sculptures.

Adrenaline building up with every clue. With trembling fingers I texted my answer for clue no 3 at 12:33. The reply came two minutes later – I was right which meant I had to go to the location. It felt like being a character in an adventure book or film. I got bus 62, complaining about the slow traffic along Dumbarton Road. When I got off the bus I was ready to fly up that big hill towards the Glasgow School of Art. I wasn’t on my own – my boyfriend was there with me. I think he was there not to keep me company, but to yank my reins of imagination a bit. I was transfixed – adventure like this on Monday? Things like this don’t happen on Mondays! We were early and tried to pass as two students casually enjoying a break from classes – outside, facing a noisy building site across the narrow street.

After a terribly long 12 minutes, I got a text with the final clue. Only then I realised I didn’t know much about the Glasgow School of Art – I didn’t know where the library was. We went the wrong way, realised our foolish steps and went back, then got lost inside before finding the library in question. All the time frantically running about and repeating in my mind the secret password. I came 4th at 14:07. The winner was already holding the prize.

Even though I didn’t win, I was privileged to see the sculpture. It’s wonderful. Another amazing book was transformed to catch you and drag you into the world of Alasdair Gray’s books.

Alasdair Gray - Lanark: A Life In Four Books

Tomorrow I have to go back to work – unless I figure out how to hunt the treasure on my lunch break.


There are so many books around. More than anyone can read in a lifetime. A book which is truly appreciated and loved should be read, lent out, given away and talked about – talked about endlessly. Books are not only a gateway to another world and a chance to become someone else – even if it lasts only until the last page is read – they are a substantial part of the world created around us. They have the power to influence thoughts and let readers experience things which normally would not be possible or readers would not even dream about.

If you have a chance, go and see the exhibition. If you love adventures take part in another treasure hunt – four more this week. Good Luck!


Cornelia Funke Ghost Knight – Review

This book was my journey back in time. When I was a bookish girl I loved spooky stories in any form – the scarier, the better. I tried to sneak out ghost stories from the adult part of the library (succeeding only once), because I thought they would be more terrifying.

As an adult I love reading children’s books. It’s not an easy job to write ghost stories for young readers, but Cornelia Funke does it effortlessly. Ghost Knight is a story of a boy called Jon Whitcroft. The timing of the whole ghost adventure couldn’t be worse. It all happens when Jon is sent to a boarding school in Salisbury where ghosts mind their own business, as they do everywhere else, but his arrival triggers an unexpected turn of events.

Running away from ghosts along with Jon and his new friend Ella, the reader can see how the past can unexpectedly barge in to the present. Can they solve murder cases that happened a long time ago, find a lost heart and avoid being expelled from school? Unusual friendships are tested and new ones are formed. It’s difficult to know who can be trusted – there are traitors and murderers around.

Jon faces danger, learns how to be a knight and grows up. Funke’s descriptions are superb – the Salisbury Cathedral experience drew me right in. The characters are hilarious, terrifying and courageous – they just seem to be there as if they have always been there. They pop out the pages and make this book incredible.

Read it no matter what your age is and enjoy a well crafted ghost story that will stay with you long after you finish it.

Author: Cornelia Funke

Title: Ghost Knight

Publisher: Orion Children’s Books (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )

Format: Hardback, 352 pages

Published: 04/10/2012

ISBN: 9781444008234

Joe Abercrombie The Blade Itself – Review

The Blade Itself will take you on an epic tour, hand in hand with the legendary warrior Ninefingers, temperamental Magi Bayaz, sarcastic Inquisitor Glokta and narcissistic Captain Luthar. They are all occupied with their own lives, which will gradually intertwine. Mundane things such as winning the fencing championship or hate of stairs get overshadowed by brewing conflict. Conflict which will be brutal, and which will test the loyalty of many people of different ranks. Professional and personal conflicts don’t mix well when social status is at stake.

Abercrombie has a great ability to write real characters that are intriguing and will keep you reading until you turn the last page. I really love his engaging style – you don’t get bored or lost even for a moment. I expected another epic fantasy novel with all typical features. Yes, you get it all – the full package and more. Wit and comic situations in the most pragmatic scenarios make The Blade Itself unputdownable.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good old-fashioned epic story with a plot which will make you laugh and even shed a lone tear over lost friendship.

Author: Joe Abercrombie

Title: The Blade Itself

Publisher: Gollancz

Format: Paperback, 544 pages

Published: 08/03/2007

ISBN: 9780575079793