Artists books set aside notions of what makes a book a book. They push the viewer to see the book as a sculptural object with a force of its own, an object that one must engage with. Books retain some of the talismanic aura that scarcity, expense and the elite nature of literacy itself gave them in past centuries. To see this demonstrated, simply stand in front of a group of people and willfully damage a book, any book. The reaction of your audience will let you know that you have transgressed. Using books as an art form trades on all of these associations, so that the viewer comes to the work with a set of expectations that can be fulfilled or subverted.