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I bought this book after seeing a blog about it via a mental health website I visit. I had looked at this previously and thought it was a good idea but wondered was it worth it? Now that I have one I would say YES!
For many of us the idea of cracking the spine of a book makes us break inside, never mind tearing out pages, spilling coffee on the pages, cutting pages, folding over corners, standing on it, letting your friends have free range on it.
Above are just a small number of the creative ideas presented in the book.
Do a search on an internet search engine and look at the images - you will see so many different interpretations of what people can do with this book and will make you want one for yourself.
I think this is a book for most ages, most personalities and each person makes it individual.
Also if you or someone you know is having a difficult time this can be an excellent distraction providing an outlet for many emotions, but without the 'black page syndrome' many of us are cursed with!
There is something liberating in 'destroying' this book and doing the things you just wouldn't let yourself do previously.
This is a book that breaks all the rules and is worth every penny.
I first came across Wreck This Journal around 2 years ago now. A friend of mine had brought hers to college and we had an amazing time doing weird stuff to it such as throwing it out of a window, chewing its pages and various other stuff that we were instructed to do by the book itself. The book is basically a journal that's much different to any other. It's created by Keri Smith, who encourages people to engage in destructive (yet very creative) acts. Most people like their journal to be nice and neat and precise, where as with this one it's impossible - you have to pretty much destroy it. When I bought mine in early 2011 from Amazon I decided that I would put lots of effort into it and make it look nice, I decided that although I already knew a few of the instructions that were in the book that I would do each page one at a time without flicking through to the end to see what the end instruction would be, which is actually against the journals rules - the included instructions are as follows:
1. Carry this with you wherever you go.
2. Follow the instructions on every page.
3. Order is not important.
4. Instructions are open to interpretation.
5. Experiment. (Work against your better judgment.)"
The first page of the book is like your average journal, it has spaces for you to write who the book belongs to, your name in seven different ways (eg backwards, in tiny letters etc) and it also has space for you to write your address and phone number. It then says 'if found, flip to a page randomly, follow the instructions and then return.' It was really fun filling this journal out and I actually learnt a decent amount of stuff out about myself because it asks specific questions and gives specific instructions, for example on one page it asks you to write a negative comment about yourself and on another it asks you to write one word over and over. Then the instructions become a little uncomfortable, such as 'crack the spine' and 'chew this page' etc. I found it hard to do as I had spent alot of time filling the journal out but I knew it was all part of the ultimate goal that the journal has, which is to get you to 'let go' if that makes sense.
Weirdly enough, despite the fact that I wasn't keen on cracking the spine and ripping the pages up, I found it incredibly theraputic. Getting the spine to actually crack was a bit of an effort! I also found some of the pages/instructions of the book quite disgusting, such as the 'stain log'. On this page it had numerous blank squares which are numbered, and you put a dab of food or whatever you want in each sqaure and then write on the other page what the stain is. I decided it'd be pretty weird to sit there doing it myself and so took it to a friends house, it was actually really fun (but still gross!) filling this section out.
Another page is 'poke holes in this page using pencils' which was fun, and another is 'colour this entire page' which was time consuming but relaxing and again, I learnt a bit about myself as I drew some really random pictures! One page that I found quite unusual was the black page which has 'scratch using a sharp object' written on it. On the page where it says 'fill this page with circles' I filled it with cute vintage badges, and my friend filled hers with buttons. Another of my friends simply drew different coloured circles with felt tips - I found it really interesting to see how we all filled ours out differently. I also love the 'draw your handprints' page. It has room for two handprints and so me and my ex boyfriend (who was my boyfriend at the time) drew round eachothers hands and wrote lovey dovey words inside them.
On another page there's a target which you have to throw something at. This was fun and me and a few friends took turns holding it while the others threw random stuff at it such as food, grass, mud, etc - it was hilarious! On another page it tells you to 'scribble wildly. violently with reckless abandon' I found this very theraputic and I actually scribbled so hard that I made a hole in the page, haha. The book has 192 pages all together and it took me around 2 months to completely fill it up, but this is mainly because I only used it when I was with friends as although it's still fun when using it alone, it's much funner with friends!
My journal is completely filled out now, and it's a total wreck! It has bits hanging off it, hanging out of it, etc and when you look at it from the side it's like a rainbow. I still haven't had the heart to bin it, and I don't really fancy the idea of leaving it somewhere public for someone to find, as they'll think i'm a complete loony, but at some point I will be getting rid of it. Before I do get rid of it I will make sure to take pictures of each page, as it contains lots of memories. I know that the book sounds quite pointless, but it isn't. It's really fun and it helped me learn to not be so precise and perfect with my writing/diaries/artwork, and it helped me think in a new and different way. It was very tempting to skip past the 'destructive' pages, but that would of been defeating the point, and so I forced myself to and i'm glad I did! I would overall reccomend this book to anyone who likes the sound of it - it's really fun and very theraputic!
Wreck This Journal is currently available from Amazon for £5.49 with free delivery. The RRP is £8.99.
My daughter asked for this journal for Christmas and it has been a constant source of discussion every day since. We do the 'journal' together sometimes which is great fun and is an interesting activity to do with a teenager I can tell you!
'Wreck this Journal' by Kerri Smith is a very different way of keeping a journal. Each page is blank or nearly blank and comes with a set of instructions for what to do with each page. Every page has different instructions ranging from, 'draw lines all over the page while walking or being moved around on the bus' to 'hang this journal in a public place and invite strangers to write on it'. You can interpret each instruction in your own way and make it a truly personal journal. Some of the instructions are a little weird like 'take your journal for a walk on the end of some string'; I think our dog might have something to say about that!
Complete each page, in any order, according to your interpretation of the instructions written on the page. Some pages are very straight forward like 'crack the spine'. This might be simple to do if you are not necessarily a book lover, but if like me keeping any book in as pristine condition as possible this instruction was horrid and I had to close my eyes while my daughter did it. Other instructions are more detailed like number every page or cut holes in the page. My daughter decided to take pictures (she is a keen photographer)of each page before and after and has stuck them into the journal too along with any thoughts from that day.
A fun way to keep a journal. It has lots of space to write your own feelings/events of the day in like a normal diary but also helps you along with some fun activities to do as well. We love this journal and would recommend it as a great gift for any teenager. It can be a little messy and some of the instructions could lead to permanent loss of the book or total destruction if not careful but otherwise good fun. I purchased this copy from Amazon for around £6.
Kerri Smith has also written other similar creative books such as 'Finish this book' and 'This is not a book', both available by Amazon for around £6-£8. All have good reviews so might be worth a look.