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Jody Alexander
Santa Cruz, California

Date Due: It's Not A Popularity Contest

For years, I have been saving the date due pockets from withdrawn library books. The different date stamps, the black and red inks, the order and disorder, the handwritten dates and notes all appealed to me. But above all is the history of the book, its past, its popularity or disuse. When stitching together the pockets I found myself feeling sorry for the books that were checked out once or twice, and thinking that the slips filled up with dates were somehow gloating. It is not a popularity contest, I would remind them. Decorative long stitch binding, date due pockets, mull and thread. 7 x 5 x 1.75 inches, 18 x 12.5 x 4.5 centimeters. Created 2008.

Jody Alexander is an artist, bookbinder, papermaker, librarian, and teacher who lives and works in Santa Cruz, California. She makes paper in the Eastern style, and uses her papers to bind books with exposed sewing on the spine in a number of historical and modern binding styles. She combines these books with found objects, wooden boxes and drawers, metal, bones, glass, etc. to create sculptural works. Her pieces celebrate collecting, storytelling, and odd characters. She also enjoys rescuing old books in distress and giving them new life as scrolls, wall books, and other objects. Website at