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Pip Estrelle
Level 4: 381 points
Alltime Score: 1326 points
Last Logged In: March 10th, 2009
EquivalenZ Rank 1: User The University of Aesthematics Rank 2: Dealer Humanitarian Crisis Rank 1: Peacekeeper

15 + 108 points

The Permanent Collection by Pip Estrelle

October 20th, 2008 9:26 PM

INSTRUCTIONS: Surreptitiously place a book of your creation into a public library, such that it will likely be mistaken for part of its collection.

I really like libraries, because I really like books and if I had to buy all the books I read in a typical month, I'd be completely broke inside of a year.

Unfortunately for libraries, I have a pretty terrible memory as well as a voracious lust for novels, biographies and how-to manuals. I often forget which books I have checked out in the first place, and if I remember that I often forget when they're due, and if I remember that I often forget where they are, and if I remember that I often forget to bring them with me next time I go into town. The end result is, I tend to accrue tremendous fines--and several ex-library books, still with their card pockets in the back and PROPERTY OF S--- PUBLIC LIBRARY stamps in the front and call numbers on the spine, that miraculously resurfaced the day after I gave up looking for them and decided to just pay the library $30 for a replacement.

So maybe I kind of do pay for my books after all. Whatever. Anyway, I'm telling you this because I decided to modify one of the ex-library books in the service of this task. What with it already having the call number and the stamp and everything.


It's called "The Big Bag Book", and it's--it was -- basically a book of patterns for, bags. I swear, it had been lying around my room for at least two years and I'd never used it. I've got plenty of bags already, and frankly sewing is one of those things that I like the idea of doing more than actually doing for real.


So I decided to make it one of those secret book-boxes, like those bibles people hide whiskey in. I've always liked those things. The book I was using was not especially fat, so it couldn't be used to hide whiskey--or anything much thicker than a DVD case.

I cut through the pages, selected a nice piece of endpaper from my bin of scraps, stuck it in, slathered them all with modge podge, pressed them together, and waited.


When I was done, I painted the box. I decided to write some things in code on the sides and on the page across from the box itself. I was going for a vaguely Codex Seraphinianius look, although my code is not ingenious or complicated, only pretty. Each symbol corresponds to a letter of the alphabet. This page and the box both had a glossy coating of modge podge (I go through ridiculous amounts of the stuff), which made them look sleek and lacquered and attractive but also made them stick together really badly. I kept having to pull them apart in a way that was starting to damage the paint on the box, and finally I just stuck a sheet of computer paper in between them, which was an effective solution if not an aesthetically pleasing one.


Here's the title page! I decided that the purpose of my book is to write down secrets and hide them in the box, and I came up with an appropriate title. I also did a little mock-publication information section on the left page. I'm not sure if you can read it in the photo. Probably not. It says:

This book is in the public domain and has no copyright.

Estrelle, Pip
A Little Book Of Hidden Things, f.k.a The Big Bag Book
ISBN uncharted and rare (infinite)

1.sf0- Nonfiction 2. Things are not what they seem- Nonfiction
3. Hiding places- Nonfiction 4. Expect the unexpected- Nonfiction
5. A part of the permanent collection- With luck

I.Title: You know that already II. Title.

Typeset by nobody in careful handwriting.



This is the front cover, with doodles cut out from one of my notebooks. Stars, the Fibonacci sequence, and skinny androgynous people wearing strange clothing are all recurring themes in my art. :P


This is the back cover, with naked people. Everybody likes naked people!


Before dropping my book off at the library, I wrote my own secret on a postcard to hide in the compartment. I'm a fairly open person and I don't have anything really sordid or traumatic in my past, so most of my secrets are pretty lame. This one is my longstanding crush on someone who is going to a different college, is way out of my league in looks, intellect, social eptness and general badassity, has an SO who is most decidedly not me, and is just generally not someone I am at all realistically likely to end up with at any point in the foreseeable future. I have strategically covered this person's name with my thumb.


Here's the front of the postcard. I got it at an anthropological museum in Munich. Believe it or not, that's not a real person. The head is made of wood.

My secret's in the book and I am ready to go!


Cleverly disguised on the appropriate shelf. I don't think these books see a lot of action, and mine, with its dowdy spine, seems especially unlikely to get picked up. It's exciting in a way, though, to think it might be several years before it gets discovered. I hope whoever does find it enjoys it, cares enough to spend fifteen minutes cracking the code, and adds her own secret when she's done.

- smaller

the metamorphosis begins

the metamorphosis begins





title page

title page

back cover

back cover

front cover

front cover

i painted the page edges red too

i painted the page edges red too

a secret

a secret

the front of the postcard

the front of the postcard

mission accomplished

mission accomplished

26 vote(s)

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14 comment(s)

(no subject) +1
posted by praximity on October 20th, 2008 11:25 PM

THANK YOU for providing accurate classification information.

poorly keyword-ed books are terribly annoying.

(no subject)
posted by Haberley Mead on October 21st, 2008 2:23 AM

Very nice! Loving the code especially, I'm currently trying to work it out...

(...I'm gonna hate myself for bringing this up, but I'm a numberswhore - the Fibonacci sequence goes 1 1 2 3 5 8, not 1 1 2 3 5 7 - a minor mistake, but sadly one you can't fix now the books in circulation :( )

(no subject)
posted by Pip Estrelle on October 21st, 2008 6:38 AM

Fuck, you're right. XD And that throws the rest off, of course. Seriously have no idea how i manged to turn the eight into a seven.

(no subject)
posted by Pip Estrelle on October 21st, 2008 7:05 AM

...Or, come to that, how I just misspelled managed as manged.

(no subject)
posted by emma ungoldman on October 21st, 2008 3:53 PM

Well, the good news is, any additive sequence counts as Lucas numbers, so you're in the clear regarding the rest of the numbers -- they're just from one sequence over :)

(no subject)
posted by Pip Estrelle on October 23rd, 2008 7:25 PM


(no subject)
posted by Morte on October 21st, 2008 7:08 AM

'I don't need speed reading, I need speed bookcase building!'


'I am a bibliophalic lifeform with a tropism for bookstores.'


'If you've never said excuse me to a lamp post or barked your shins on a fire hydrant, you're not reading enough.'

All bumperstickers that need to get turned into t-shirts so I can wear them and confuse people with pride.

All hail constant and voracious readers! HAIL!! HAIL!! HAIL!!

*I meant be proud in the fact of confusing people, not confusing prideful people. Thought I should clear that up.

(no subject)
posted by Ink Tea on January 1st, 2009 7:32 PM

I get yelled at a lot for reading and biking at the same time.

(no subject)
posted by Mr Everyday on October 21st, 2008 10:16 PM

Marvellous. So is this also a complete of "The arcane ensconced" or what?

(no subject)
posted by Pip Estrelle on October 22nd, 2008 1:40 PM

No, I don't do task doubling.

(Plus, I have something pretty cool planned for tae, if I ever get around to it.)

(no subject)
posted by rongo rongo on October 22nd, 2008 6:33 AM

Using an actual library book that you'd already paid for...very clever camouflage. And your random cool looking additions to the book are delightful.

(no subject)
posted by done on October 22nd, 2008 7:18 AM

That'S a pretty book. I like.

(no subject)
posted by Anna Louise on October 27th, 2008 3:43 AM

You so described the very reason why I gave up being a library member. I might as well just buy the books right away. Saves me a lot of money and embarrassment.

The book you created looks beautiful!

(no subject)
posted by Charlie Fish on November 5th, 2008 1:59 PM

Wow, this completion just kept getting better. The gift that keeps on giving.


And admiration!