There are billions of stories that have been told in all of humanity and so there are a few that can be safely forgotten. Take a tour through a thrift store and you'll find hundreds of old hardcover books that are just begging to find a new life. Their intent, if they can have one, is to be read, but let's liberate them into something new. A phoenix from the ashes, if you will.
In memory of the surrealists who cut up pieces of text out of newspapers or books to create new narratives with horrendous plots I decided to take a tawdry novel and open it up to a vast realm of new possibilities. With the pages sliced up you can rearrange the tale of kids drinking, drugging and screwing. Go straight from the psychiatrist couch into a heroin binge and then into a fight with the disconnected parents. Only faster this time.
Or you could just accept this as an aesthetic exercise to see what you can create with a budget of $5 and a rainy afternoon to kill.
Step 1: Materials
The main ingredient here is a great book. You can define greatness in your own way as that is a purely objective decision. Jackie Collins lives in my city and so I figured that she would be the perfect author to have her work destroyed. She's made millions and I really doubt that she'll be offended. It also happened to be the first book of the right size that I came across. And then I came up with some rationalization so that makes me happy enough.
The other qualities of greatness would relate to the thickness of the paper and the width of the pages. I've done a couple of other versions of this with a big thesaurus and the feel of the paper was better. I didn't feel bad about that as I don't believe in synonyms and any excuse to take those out of circulation is good in my opinion.
In addition to the book, get a pencil, an X-Acto with fresh blades, and a ruler.