On a recent family trip to Northern California, one of our purchases was a paperback book by Keri Smith called Wreck This Journal that we found at a stationery shop on Chestnut Street in San Francisco. It was an impulsive choice, one I thought my daughters would enjoy during the rest of the summer. It seemed like just the thing for a couple of creative girls with a quirky sense of humor. But to be honest, I am surprised how much fun all four of us, adults included, have had wrecking it. Each page offers some exercise in creativity to be achieved through destruction or silliness, or some combination thereof.
At first, we started with a rule: if it’s your turn, do one page and one page only. Each of us had discovered several pages that we wanted to have all to ourselves, that we didn’t want anyone else to mess up before we had the chance to do them. We each had to prioritize when it came to be our respective turn: which page was mine to wreck? But now it seems we no longer need any rules; we’ve all come to the understanding that we can each add to the destruction in our own unique ways. We've come to look at the whole book as an ongoing project rather than a work of art.
It’s been incredibly fun to treat a book in such a manner, probably because of the fact that books are generally sacred in our house. In fact, I’m often surprised at what a nice release it is to flip to a random page in the journal and carry out the action it suggests. I don't usually promote products here on Chez Cerise, but I definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for something fun or silly to do, bit by bit. It's funny, too, how handing the book over to a kid who says, "I'm bored," can completely change her outlook for the next several hours.
If this book survives the current generation, I hope it will become a relic for a future set of children to add to and pore over.