Abigail Reynolds
Elliptical Reading, 2021-22

Aberdeen Central Library
Reading group, re-bound library books
Courtesy the artist
Supported by Hayward Gallery Touring for British Art Show 9



Elliptical Reading creates a regular reading hour in a library for readers to share short sections from favourite books, generating an unruly text collage which builds over time. Images of the readers’ hands are embossed on new bindings for their chosen volumes, replacing the title. In Aberdeen, Elliptical Reading is presented at Aberdeen Central Library where visitors can find re-bound books on the shelves. These books are available for other library users to browse but have been re-shelved by the readers in new places, outside their usual categories. A guide, which includes a map with the locations of these books, are available in the library and on the BAS9  website.


For Abigail Reynolds, access to books via public libraries changed her life. She defines a library as ‘a social space, an egalitarian, tolerant, safe space teeming with different, conflicting ideas.’


Readers and their selected books:


Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon (1932) Pub. Polygon
Reader: James Tocher


The Butterfly’s Burden by Mahmoud Darwish (2003) Pub. Bloodaxe
Reader: Noon Salah Eldin


Joesph Knight by James Robertson (2003) Pub. 4th Estate
Reader: Meg Forbes


The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction by Ursula K. Le Guin (1986) Pub. Ignota
Reader: Svetlana Panova


Dzieci z Bullerbyn (The Six Bullerby Children) by Astrid Lindgren (1947) Pub. Nasza Ksiegarnia
Reader: Halina Ficon and Anna Kruhilk


American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis (1991) Pub. Picador
Reader: Dallas King


Jean Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (1847) translated into Doric by Sheena Blackhall and Shelia Templeton (2012) Pub. Evertype
Reader: Annie Reid


The Mont Blanc Massif by Gaston Rebuffat (2002) Pub. Kaye Ward
Reader: Doug Cameron


Poems by Charles Hamilton Sorely in Up the Line to Death: The war poets 1914-1918 (1964) Pub. Magnum
Reader: Eleanor Campbell


Watch a reading hour of Elliptical Reading in full:



Read more about Abigail Reynolds here