“Two years ago I went to Paris with a friend. We were both skint and went on the 9 hour coach that goes from London to Paris overnight for £20.00 and stayed in a lice ridden hostel when we got there.
In a bookshop one day I found this amazing book about a professional swimmer who had had to quit swimming. I read the first chapter in the shop and it was basically all about what to do if you’ve based your identity off one thing/ based your self-esteem off achieving one activity, and then it’s taken away from you. It was all about building new routines, and was a very practical ‘how-to’ guide as well as being a beautifully illustrated scrapbook style object.
At the time I was facing having to drop out of uni because of my health, and was really caught in this warped academia-image of myself; that the pattern of my experiences wasn’t random but was totally part of a structure that was spelled out for me by this woman seemed so amazing and gave me such a sense of relief and calm. The book cost 30 euros though, and I really was skint, so I couldn’t buy it. I wrote down the name planning to google it and find a cheaper copy as soon as I got back to England – and then lost that piece of paper! I tried googling everything I could remember about the book to find it, inputting what I now realise were really funny combinations of things (‘professional swimmer, how-to, achievement, self-esteem, hopelessness, blue watercolour pictures’) and had NO LUCK. I did this at regular intervals over the next two years, hoping the google algorithm would one day churn up what I was looking for.
Last week, I went to the pub in London with a new friend, and at the end of the night she pulled a book out of her bag saying, ‘oh, I don’t know why, but something about this new book of mine made me think of you, I bought it to see if you wanted to borrow it.’ It was the book. The weird-google, Paris, self-esteem book.
I told a friend about this story and it turned out she had a really similar story about finding a book, losing it, and googling in vain. (Her googles were, ‘futuristic santa, paperback, 1960s sci-fi’). She still hasn’t found hers. We got to wondering how many other people have been googling really odd non-sequiters looking for their special books in vain, and from that I got the idea for our project.
We’re going to make a zine collecting lots of these experiences and print it up with illustrations etc. and try and distribute it. Both as a funny little art project to draw attention to a collective experience we haven’t heard talked about before, and also as a finding technique – in case anyone can put anyone else in touch with their special-google books.
Do you happen to have a book-you’ve-googled-in-vain story that you’d like to submit? Or do you have any pals who do?”
>>>> IF YOU WANT TO CONTRIBUTE/FIND OUT MORE, let me know and I will put you in touch with the mastermind behind all this <<<<<