Read, Reread, Recycle

If you are like us, throwing out a book causes pain. You don’t have to toss it - there are plenty of cool ways to up-cycle and recycle so your favorite titles can live on.

There comes a point in a book’s life when it is no longer readable, useful, or helpful as it was when it was first published. After a while, a well loved novel will fall apart. A non-fiction book will be out of date and not helpful in today’s world (think of a science book from the 1960’s!) A children’s book won’t be relatable because the pictures and language no longer represent how kids look and speak. What happens to these books?


1. Turn a yard-sale lamp into a great lamp for a kid’s room! (

lamps with bookish items


2. Decoupage is your friend! Details of a room done up in your favorite novel. (

light fixture covers


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3. Indoor decor or seal and use outside as an actual birdhouse! (

books and birds


4. Literally a bookshelf. Use powerful adhesive and clamp together to dry. (

bookshelf DIY


5. One of our favorites – up-cycle a hardcover into a journal cover! (

notebook with book cover


6. This is a great idea for an outdated set of encyclopedias. (

nightstand made of books diyo


7. Add roses to gift-wrap, make them into a wreath, or secure to a mirror! (

roses made out of newspaper


8. Clock kits can be found at most craft and hobby shops. Think of the possibilities! (

reader clock


9. A thick, old book with its spine still intact will work for this cute planter! (

books and plants diy


10. A trinket box. Make a few and stack them up! Image courtesy of (

box for small items


11. An old novel plus flowery hole-punch equals a sweet table runner. (

paper table runner


12. Get inspired. Mod-Podge, any piece of wood furniture, an old book and a few free hours is all you need! (

furniture covered in pages of a book


13. Blocks with our favorite children’s book characters! Image courtesy of

where the wild things are

About Laura Brennan

LAURA BRENNAN is a writer and librarian. When she isn’t working, you can find her reading, watching Golden Girls on DVD, or eating green olives straight from the jar. Her style icon is still Clarissa Darling. She once saw Dennis Leary in Harvard Square and it was awesome. Follow Laura on Twitter @missizb31.

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