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10 Ways to Reuse Old Books

10 Ways to Reuse Old Books

Obviously collector books, quality library books and books we just plain love get pampered and kept on our shelves and tables. But what about the rest? Obsolete manuals, damaged books, those which have only kind-of survived the toddler years… where do they go, what do they become?Here are some great ideas I found for turning an old book into something new.

  • A book wall lamp (actually pretty cool for a study room, library or just a geek like me).
  • Join BookCrossing.
  • Gesso over the pages to create a journal or sketch book.
  • Remove pages and turn them into envelopes.
  • Frame individual pages or collages for inexpensive artwork.
  • Use as wallpaper (think bathroom wall, plenty of reading for guests!).
  • Decoupage a table top.
  • Stack several together (with cement glue in between) and clear coat to make an attractive centerpiece or a decorative column. Repaint spines and top if desired to resemble classics.
  • Wad up unusable pages for packing cushion.
  • Use for wrapping small gifts.

I’m sure there are hundreds of other ideas. Please share yours!

If books are in good shape and no longer needed in your household, please consider donating them to a hospital or shelter. A great idea for children is to have a book exchange party or a books-for-the-children’s-hospital party (ask everyone to bring their gently used books to donate).

If a book is not salvageable (or any parts of it that are beyond reuse), please recycle it.

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By Jamie Ervin, Green Options

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2:24PM PDT on Apr 5, 2013

I can't cut a book.But maybe I'll try some of this tips with junk mail or old newspaper

5:48AM PDT on Mar 13, 2013

Oops, posted that in the wrong one. I have two pages open at once.

5:47AM PDT on Mar 13, 2013

If anything ever happens to my dog, I will probably start crying whenever I see a pic of a seal.

2:16AM PDT on Mar 12, 2013


1:58AM PDT on Mar 12, 2013

I don't see what the big deal is about cutting up old books. The author is not talking about destroying first edition books and ones that have been around for centuries. It is finding new uses for damaged books that no longer belong on a bookshelf. The kinds of books in such bad condition that most would throw them away. Those books you can cut up as much as you want without feeling guilty because at least you are finding some use for them.

11:28PM PST on Mar 4, 2013

horrible.... cannot use old books to wrap gifts!!!

1:06AM PST on Feb 19, 2013

Very interesting. Thank you.

11:06AM PST on Feb 18, 2013

nice ideas, thanks

2:46AM PST on Feb 17, 2013


1:28AM PST on Feb 14, 2013

Terrible! I am appalled to see old books and scissors in the same picture. Old books should be cherished

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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