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The Living Bookstore – 2 Animations That Love Books More than You

"Words Create Worlds" ad for Czech bookstore Anagram

If you think about it, bookstores are truly miraculous places, each store housing hundreds of thousands of tiny universes, each populated with lists of characters and landscapes and the full scope of human emotion, each ready for you to fall into and be absorbed.

Anyone with a love of books would have a hard time denying a good bookstore’s draw, it’s almost as if it calls you from the street as you pass, beckoning like some seductress, filled with soft light and low voices saying, “Here be dragons!” Especially a store with age and regalia, if you close your eyes you can almost hear its heart beating.

The following are two wonderful stop-motion animations that explore this idea of a living bookstore where books and the creatures that dwell inside spring to life as soon as the lights go down, as if such a thing were as natural as the hair on your head.

The first video is a stingingly sweet piece of visual poetry co-directed by Spike Jonze and French filmmaker Simon Cahn. The film was “hand made with love” by designer Olympia Le-Tan (her Minaudiere Classique handbags make appearances in the film). Mourir Auprès de Toi (To Die by Your Side) takes place in Paris’ one and only Shakespeare and Co. bookstore and stars a amorous skeleton and his ill-fated paramour amidst a backdrop of literature.

Here are two stills from the short:

Here is more on the making of this project, along with an interview with Jonze himself, which he says took 3 months of continuous work along with 3000 pieces of felt.


This second flight of fantasy may be what happens in a bookstore after hours, as far as you know. It was created by the owner of Type Bookstore in Toronto as a reminder that books are of great importance to our collective culture and that they should be treasured. Or else it’s a tribute to the fact that no matter how many e-readers are sold in the world, real books will never go away.

Those reading in an email or reader you may need to click over to the site to display the media.

The Truth in Books – What lies insideremarkable book sculptures the likes of which you’ve never seen.

Once Upon A Time… – A Pop-Up Animation – a darling little animated journey through a pop-up book.

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