Friday, December 12, 2014

Bible Book Blocks

Educational Device. Book of Books. Sixty-six books of the Bible, wood block set, missing book-shaped slip-case.

I wonder if any of you have seen book Bible block sets before. After collecting book objects for many years, I'm just starting to see Bible blocks emerge as a genre of book object. To date, I've seen approximately five variations. The sets I have seen are both handmade and manufactured (and patented). All are wood, some with printed paper covers and are stored in wood boxes that double for bookshelves. They are part of the tradition of teaching children to memorize the sixty-six books of the Bible. I don't know why it is important to memorize the books, especially if the book themselves are at hand, but I can see that it is a traditional tool  for Christian education. Faux books of the Bible are still ingrained in our culture. For example, I saw a website that shows Bible book covers that can  be attached to cereal boxes and used in Bible book memorization games. 

The Block Book Library seen below is a commercial set from the collection of the Museum of Play (Strong Museum) in Rochester, New York.

Evidence of an ongoing tradition of Bible blocks, repurposing cereal boxes.


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