Ah, books. Nothing is better than to curl up on the couch, hot tea cooling on the coffee table, and a book in hand. Many love to escape reality by diving into a new and undiscovered world through the different literature we read. I am one of those people; always have been, always will be.
However, everything eventually comes to an end and whether the journey was good or not, what should be done once the book is read and finished?
I picture my dream house containing an entire wall that is a book shelf with every single book I’ve read – my favorites mixed in with the so-and-so’s – packed together, bindings facing out for all whom visit to see my vast collection of reads. But what life is that for a book? A book is to be read, explored, and loved, not collecting dust. As many times as we may say, “oh, that was a great book! I’m going to save it so I can re-read it again”, how many times do we actually re-read a book? I have done it a couple times but not as many times as I’ve said I would.
Because my collection of books is growing rapidly, and soon I may just have to get a whole other house to store all of them, I have come up with a list of 5 creative things to do with already read books. Yes, some of them may be hard to actually do – especially with your favorite reads – but books have many lives and deserve to live them all. And if you can’t do these to your favorite books, then do them to books that weren’t the best!
- Use the Pages for a Decoupage Project. Have a favorite book that is just sitting on a shelf, abandoned by you, its reader? Instead of letting it collect dust, turn it into a unique art project that will let you enjoy the book’s words forever. Transform a cheap garage sale picture frame into a border of words by cutting out some of the book’s best quotes and lines, and decoupaging them onto the frame. Turn an empty glass jar into a wordy flower vase by ripping out some of the book’s pages and decoupaging them onto the jar. Whatever you decide to decoupage, and there are some great ideas out there, it will give your book a new and creative life! On how to decoupage, visit here.
- Wrap Some Presents. This one may be hard for readers whom cherish all books, but instead of using your favorite books, take the books you did not quite enjoy or were just downright terrible, and turn their pages into fun and recycled wrapping paper! Why spend money, and waste paper, by buying new wrapping paper every year when you can just use the pages of not-so-good books and wrap presents of friends and family members in a unique way!
- Donate. You’ve had your fun with exploring and reading the book so now it’s time to pass it on! Promote literacy while you share a special book (or even one you didn’t like) by donating your already read books to charities or establishments. Here is a site that lists where to donate your books and here is a charity that is always in need of books.
- Create a Clock. In Holland, MI my mother and I found this cute store that had unique art and crafts. One that caught both our eyes was a “Book Clock”. The second we got home, we ordered the supplies and got to working on our own “Book Clock”. We made about 5 of them out of hard covered books we picked up from garage sales and they all looked absolutely wonderful! They can be given as great presents or used to decorate your house with your favorite book on display as a clock. Plus, you don’t even need to ruin any of the pages so it is still readable! Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of the ones my mom and I did, however, it is similar to my record clock I made (I got a little crazy with making everything into clocks!). Here is a site on how to make your very own “Book Clock”!
- Doodle. Do you have the talent of being able to draw and/or paint well? Give your drawings more meaning and substance by doodling on the pages of your favorite book. Maybe draw something that relates to what the words read on the page. Afterward, make sure you frame your art and hang it on the wall for all to admire!
*Note: the pictures on this post were taken from Google Images. The list however, is my own: © Kalie Lyn, 2011*