Book Review - ‘Everything is Connected’
Book explores creativity, breaks boundaries
Published: Monday, October 14, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 14, 2013 14:10
With her outside-the-box thinking and trademark quirkiness, author Keri Smith’s books break the boundaries when it comes to genres and, well, what books can be in general. Successful author of the popular “Wreck This Journal” and many other creative endeavors, Smith does not so much write books as make them. In return her books are not meant to be read in the classic sense—they are meant to be experienced. Her newest work, “Everything Is Connected,” came out on Oct. 4.
This newest book is somewhat of a recap of “Wreck This Journal,” “This Is Not a Book,” and some of Smith’s other works. As she says on her blog kerismith.com/blog, she “reworked some pieces that I love and that I felt lent themselves to the concept of mailing.”
This concept takes some of her favorite pages and puts them into a form that is meant to be shared with others: postcards. Each page has a perforation and can be torn out and mailed to a friend, perhaps, or even to a stranger as one card prompts. These postcards need not be torn out and mailed; the owner can simply complete them as they wish and keep them. In order to truly get into the spirit of the thing, however, one must venture out of one’s comfort zone.
Activities on the front of the postcards include things like transforming a photo, making a sculpture with the card or asking others to help you deface it. They ask the reader to go out and meet people, to go on adventures, to do things he or she would not normally do. In some cases they can be daunting, like little secret missions where the worst that could happen is an awkward situation. Anyone familiar with Smith’s books will recognize some of her previous projects as well as a few newbies thrown into the mix.
Having purchased and completed many of Smith’s books (my favorite being “How To Be an Explorer of the World”), I have to say this book was a bit disappointing, because it seemed to be recycling a lot of old material. I would especially recommend this book to those who are new to Smith and her ways. It offers a creative, intriguing and utterly social form of expression. It encourages readers to connect with others, because, truly, how often do you actually send a letter to someone just to ask how they are doing?
The postcards provide a way to mix up a regular old correspondence letter, and can be especially fun for those who are in long-distance relationships or who have friends or family in faraway places. They are cheaper to send than regular letters, too; a postcard stamp is only 33 cents (for the time being).
But seriously, getting something in the mail other than a bill is awesome. As the back of the book says, “Don’t you just love getting something unexpected in the mail?”