The Living City by Bookmaker Jake
Where do I begin? The Living City is a story within a story within a story. The book I purchased is one of a kind, literally. I watched Bookmaker Jake make the book throughout one day at the Wordstock literary festival in Portland. My booth was catty-corner from his.
The Living City is more than a book, it’s a way of life. And it’s one that Bookmaker Jake lives and breathes while selling his handmade books from recycled materials such as cardboard boxes, gas cans, pillows, chip bags, and insulation, to name a few. (Mine was bound and stitched into a carpet remnant Jake pulled out of a trash bin at the convention center upon his arrival that very morning.)
Jake’s books don’t have prices; each one has a story “booklet” that details the book’s creation, including photos of the process, along with an estimate of the material costs and the number of hours of labor involved. (This is “money” in Jake’s world, as well as in the Living City.) You, the purchaser, tell Jake how much you think that effort is worth to you. He, in turn, decides whether or not to accept your offer. (He accepts most offers, except perhaps for those books to which he has become particularly attached during the creation process.)
This is not only how Bookmaker Jake interacts with the world, it is how the characters in The Living City do, as well. You see, Jake is living the story he created, in the hope that he can make his fiction a reality. How awesome is that?
Jake tells his story better than I could even begin. Check it out at Bookmaker Jake’s website, the Storybank Exchange.
If you enjoyed The Living City, you might like to buy more fun books to read from Jake and give them as gifts, because they truly are one of a kind, every damn one of them!