I am a very enthusiastic subscriber to designer flash sale emporium, Fab.com. I am consistently delighted by the designers they feature and regularly curse God that I grew up to be a writer instead of a venture capitalist.
Not today! I opened this morning's email to discover wares from Steven Gabriel, an LA designer who runs an Etsy store called Vintage Book Clocks. As one might imagine, he sells vintage books made into clocks, for which he charges anywhere from $40 to $250.
This is so dumb! Some aspirational jerks are all, "This vintage book clock is so clever! It will make us look ever so literary, positioned there above our $10,000 sofa. It's totally worth $250!"
I have news for you, you book-mangling philistines: Vintage Book Clocks are a total ripoff. I can make a clock. Me! Someone who regularly gets her headphones tangled in her bicycle spokes! If this was a project in Readymade magazine (RIP) it'd only have one of those difficulty homonculus stamps next to it. Don't believe me? Here's a video (be forewarned, the narrator is super annoying):
As one commenter on this video suggests, you can also buy a clock from the Salvation Army for $1 and take the guts out.
I mean, look, it's more than a little lame to gut a perfectly good book and mount it above your set of DWR Saarinen repro chairs (worse still to buy one that somebody else gutted). If you absolutely must decorate by mangling poor, innocent books, at least don't pay more than you have to. With all due credit to Regretsy, here's how much Vintage Book Clocks are actually worth (minus, you know, like ten minutes of labor, you lazy yuppie).
OR. . .
Cat in the Hat ($3.75) + clock guts untouched by nasty poor people ($8.59) = $12.34
Cat in the Hat ($3.75) + Good Will clock ($1.00) = $4.75
YOU SAVE $48.25!!!!
Now before you start whining about how Steven Gabriel is an artistic visionary and you're paying for his ideas, not the actual product, let me remind you that if you spent fourteen seconds looking on Etsy, you'd find eight jillion things made into clocks. Etsy is positively lousy with upcycled shit made into clocks. This is no more an original idea than "tampons" or "peanut butter."
Furthermore, there's something fishy about his clock of Dr. Seuss's If I Ran the Circus, billed as a "first edition."
A quick search on alibris.com -- usually a fairly accurate measure of the value of used books -- shows first editions of If I Ran the Circus valued from $200-$3500. Is this really a first edition? How could you ever check without wrecking your clock? How does being a first edition add value to something with a hole drilled through it?
In summary: Vintage Book Clocks are so, so dumb.