A blook is a book-shaped object that is not a book. It may contain a game, or a coin bank or a cigarette lighter or an exploding “gag.” Obviously it can be fancy, serious or a toy.
Anyhow, the Grolier Club is running a fun exhibition of blooks, featuring the collection of Mindell Dubansky, a preservation librarian at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A show of objets that don’t contain paper pages might seem an odd fit for the bibliophiles at the venerable Grolier, but the society has always had its quirky side.
Things are made to look like books because the book shape sets off an emotional response. A bookbinder, Dubansky says “95 percent of the books I work on are of sentimental value.”
We asked her whether real books hollowed out to hide cash or other things could be considered blooks. She responded that “altered” books are often of historic significance, but that’s not what she normally includes in the blooks collection.
Dubansky gives a talk on blooks at the Grolier every Thursday at 1 p.m., until the exhibition ends. It runs until March 12.
It seems somehow appropriate that to see a show of blook-like objects hiding treasures inside, you have to go through a construction “tunnel” hiding the Grolier Club. We advise trying to enter via the northwest corner of 60th and Park.
BLOOKS: THE ART OF BOOKS THAT AREN’T
The Grolier Club
47 East 60th Street (between Park and Madison)
Exhibition ends on March 12.