Some people might be dismayed that I use old books to make new things. One good friend has once dubbed me the 'Book Mutilator'. In fact, he gifted me a beautiful book, daring me to take it apart."Here's a book. I bet you'd love to tear it apart". (actual quote!) In fact, I considered it but then thought better.
It is not a rare book. It is out of print. There are many copies still in circulation. I have no personal connection to the author, publisher, or illustrator. No big money on ebay. But, it is beautiful. The words are printed on high quality paper. The text is a fun personal narrative about interacting with and watching birds.
I do enjoy using old books for new purposes. Books come to me from so many places. A free pile on a street corner, thrift stores, library sales, gifts from teachers / colleagues. I am picky about which ones I choose to use. To me the most important details lie in the graphics and the quality of the paper. Archival and acid free are terms that everyone from professional conservator and scrapbook hobbyist throw about. I concern myself less with the potential acidity of the paper than the ability of the paper to take a fold, accept adhesive graciously, and hold its shape. These days, I am obsessively drawn to educational materials from my own childhood. I actually remember these readers, standard academic texts, and workbooks (called 'consumables'). Like these!