Books, as everyday commodities designed to hold information, are, unless of historical importance, more often than not discarded as cultural detritus. Some book artists concentrate on the abstract quality of a book's shape. Its original text may become irrelevant to the final sculptural form. My present work takes inspiration from the title of the book. I think of an 'altered book' as one which has been changed and modified by creative means into a mixed-media work of art. I see books as a tool to explore and communicate ideas in a very individual way. Thus the altered book regains value and becomes a vehicle for the construction of narratives. It may be 'read' in an entirely new way. In most cases I like to retain the suggestion of the book shape and manipulate the pages by folding and cutting portions of text. I also like to extend the text beyond the confines of the structure. Enclosing the work in a bell jar lends an air of preciousness, even mystery. It becomes an object of curiosity and suggests the idea of a 'collection'.