One of the simplest types of altered books that you can make involves cutting out all the pages from a book, leaving a tab of an inch or so. These tabs can then be used in pairs to glue in whatever pages you wish, whether you use the original pages or create new ones from other papers. I picked an old atlas with beautiful, but out-of-date maps for my journal. I will end up with approximately half the number of pages as there were originally, which should leave some room for any collaged inclusions.
A number of years ago, I wrote a beginner's guide to doing altered books, so if you'd like more info, start here :-)
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