Books typically enjoy a long shelf life. They can be read over and over again, and are often passed from one owner to another.
Books usually outlast their owners, but time inevitably takes a toll on them as well. Bindings break, pages fall out or fall victim to spills, and eventually the title is unreadable. What then? Some creative individuals have devised ways of repurposing old books in new and refreshing ways. These cool new things made from old books are functional, visually appealing and artful.
#1 Floating Bookshelves Imagine having stacks of books that seem to freely float on the walls of a study, living room or den. What looks like magic or sorcery is actually a wall shelf made from an old book, and the tome at the bottom of the stack is really the shelf in disguise. The result is clean lines and curious house guests. Bigger, heftier volumes are best for this project, and this is a great use for classic, elegantly bound tomes that happen to be missing essential pages.
#2 Secret Storage Place If you are in the habit of keeping money or small valuables in your home, this project is the one for you. Hardcover books are easily turned into secret hiding places for money, liquor and anything else worth tucking away from prying eyes. The secret lies in carefully cutting out a large square chunk of the pages from the middle of the book, creating a space for concealing objects. Those who have a large library will find their valuables especially safe. What burglar would think to give each and every book a shake? This same basic idea can also be applied to create a fabulous jewelery or trinket box.
#3 Book Clock It’s easy to create a one-of-a-kind clock using the gutted hardcover book of your choice, an inexpensive clock kit and some glue. A clock like this is an elegant way to enjoy cover art that is especially thought-provoking, stunning or unusual. It’s also a great way to make a statement about the kind of books you like to read.
#4 Book Purse Old books may be transformed into fashionable purses and totes that are unique, thoughtful and functional. The fabrics and handles are colour coordinated to enhance the cover art of the book, making a chic piece of wearable art. Larger books are best for this project, though smaller tomes could become cute clutches in a pinch. Regardless of size, this is sure to be a conversation starter wherever you go.
#5 Kindle Reader Cover Debate rages on regarding e-books potentially replacing paper ones. While e-books are certainly on the rise, nothing will ever completely replace the experience of a real, tangible book. With that said, much of our reading as a society is shifting to digital formats. This project breathes new life into an old, forgotten hardcover book by recreating it as a stylish Kindle cover. It protects the Kindle (or other electronic reading device) from scratches and damage while making the technological device look very old school.
This is just a handful of unique projects that happen to be made from books. We are only scratching the surface of what can be done with old books, and as the popularity of reusing them rises, we will surely encounter many more fantastic projects in the future. These five projects are special because they retain the essence of the book even in the finished product, proving that it’s possible to reuse books while respecting and honouring their intrinsic value.
This post is written by Jo Greig from LoveReading, a unique book resource, offering book reviews and recommendations.