In a Twitter post that quickly went viral Tuesday morning, user @alex_christofi wrote, “Yesterday my colleague called me a ‘book murderer’ because I cut long books in half to make them more portable. Does anyone else do this? Is it just me?” He added, later, “If people would just publish in sensible sized volumes I wouldn’t need to take matters into my own hands.”
Included with his tweet, Christofi shared a photo of three books — David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest , Joseph Frank’s Dostoyevsky: A Writer in His Time , and Jeffrey Eugenides’s Middlesex — all sliced cleanly in half.
Before you fly into a moral panic, it quickly became clear Christofi was joking — probably. Maybe?
After one user asked what he does about Infinite Jest ’s footnotes, he replied, “Glad you asked. I realised my error after I’d cut the book in half so I doubled down and made a separate booklet (not pictured) bound in a diagram of all the characters’ relationships.” When another noted he’d be risking losing one-half of a book, he replied, “I’ve heard the first half is the best half.”
But perhaps most suspiciously, when asked numerous times why he simply doesn’t just use an eReader, Christofi did not reply.
A novelist himself, who has labelled himself “book murderer” on his Twitter profile, it seems Christofi is in it for the laughs.
Still, there’s no denying it is practically sacrilege to damage a book in such a way, even for just for a tweet.
It calls to mind the furor over Lauren Conrad’s 2012 Crafty Creations web-series, in which she infamously cut the pages out of several copies of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and used what was leftover as a design tool meant to serve as storage. The clip went viral, and the reaction was so swift and strong that Conrad immediately removed the video.
Snicket even released a statement on the matter, telling Slate , “It has always been my belief that people who spend too much time with my work end up as lost souls, drained of reason, who lead lives of raving emptiness and occasional lunatic violence. What a relief it is to see this documented.”
Dog-ear and coffee-stain the pages of your books all you want. But when it comes to intentionally slicing them up to the point they are unrecognizable? Think again.
An Unashamed Book Purist
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