If you find yourself browsing in Balfour Books on College Street this summer, don't be alarmed if you pull out a pop-up in philosophy or see scorched pages in self-help. Those surprises are the work of local artists, two dozen of whom have altered books on the shelves for an art show called Titles.
Curators Yam Lau and Sunny Kerr wanted to host an exhibition in a bookstore instead of a gallery to simply catch bookworms off guard. (It caught employees by surprise too - one recently sold an artist's book for the price of a regular paperback, by accident.) For example, look in religion to find Cheryl Sourkes's Bible with its pages glued shut, or Flavio Trevisan's 3-D diorama of Regent Park tucked away in architecture. With one work hidden in each section, except art (that omission was "totally unintentional," Mr. Kerr says), the works are meant to "disappear" on the shelves with the rest of the titles.
"Balfour is a unique bookstore in Toronto because of its focus on art, architecture and theory books," Mr. Kerr says. "It's one of the last of its kind."
Titles runs until Sept. 7 at Balfour Books, 601 College St.