Girls Vs. Books

Girls Vs. Books


Sara L. Press


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Defacing a library book can be seen as a subversive act of vandalism, but in Girls vs. Books, this behavior seems to be about more than just working through the boredom of youth. Through her photographs of books defaced by girls, Press captures the joy and defiance of imaginative and active female readers engaged in a dialogue with the books they are reading. Many book artists also engage in this kind of back-and-forth when they alter an existing book to create a work of art. Through the intimacy of these photographs, readers of Girls vs. Books can connect with the readers of these original titles by examining the unique marks they left behind. As Press states, these marks were made by “women who didn’t think twice about violating the sanctity of the printed page with their own editorializations. Several of the (known) defacers grew up to be writers, editors and artists themselves.”

"Girls vs. Books is an artist’s book made from my Storied Books photographic series about vernacular altered books.

"My edition echoes its subject matter: I constructed it by cutting up and rebinding commercially-printed books of my photos and then titling them with rubber stamps." — Sara L. Press


Deeply Game Publications


girls, womanhood, feminism, art, writing, ekphrasis, annotation, close reading


72 pages, 10” x 8”.


Hardcover, perfect bound.


Images printed with Indigo Electroink on Mohawk Superfine paper.


Illustrated pastedowns and free end pages printed with rubber stamps and pigment ink.



Other Information

Edition 12 of 15. Signed and numbered by the artist. For more information, visit or

Girls Vs. Books