Creative Uses for Old Books

If you’re planning a little spring cleaning of your personal library, take a look at these clever uses for your old books:

  • Make A Lamp Out of Books (from DIY)
    Artist and designer Alex Cobb makes a wonderful table lamp out of a stack of books. Look for books that have colorful lettering on the spines. Use children’s books for the kids’ room. Or how about those old law books sitting out in the garage? They’d make the perfect lamp for a den or study.
  • How to Make a Hollow Book (from wikiHow):A hollow book can be a nifty way to hide something, whether it’s a spare key, a secret note, or even money. Most people wouldn’t think to browse your library for private or personal things. It’s also a great way to pass something to someone discreetly–an unsuspecting onlooker will just think you’re sharing a very good read!
  • How to Turn a Book Into a Picture Frame (from wikiHow): Search the basement, the attic or the back of the bookshelves for an old book that has not been opened for years. Make sure that it isn’t a valuable antique or first edition! Follow the steps to insert a favorite picture into the frame. Place the book on the end table to be enjoyed and shared by everyone.

Don’t have the right books for these projects? Then stop by the Friends of the UW Madison Libraries used book sale on March 26-29, 2008. Held at the Memorial Library at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, this is the largest used book sale in Wisconsin and includes more than 15,000 books covering almost any subject.
Update: 3/25/08
Laura Orr over at Oregon Legal Research offer some additional tips in her guide, How to Dispose of Used Law Books. My favorite is This Into That by artist, Jim Rosenau. His art includes book cases, book shelves, chairs, etc. – all made from vintage books.