Books: Not just for reading anymore

Books in bookcase

Wall art or bookcase? You decide! Image courtesy of rezdora70, Morguefile.

Books have many uses. For lots of us, they’re a way to briefly escape the world’s worries for a while or vicariously experience places we hope to visit someday. Or if we’re history lovers, we use books to visit different eras such as Jane Austen’s Regency England or World War II.

Yesterday, blogger ChichiKir wrote a brilliant post that quoted famous writers about what books mean to them. She used sayings from Jean-Paul Sartre and Gustave Flaubert. ChichiKir also talked about what reading means to her and why. Go check it out; it’s a post well worth your time. (I’m not kidding. Scram! Go over there! Just come back in a few minutes, will you? *sound effect: blog readers clicking madly on their mouse buttons and laptops* Oh, thanks. Nice to see you back.)

But I notice books have other uses, too. I had a massive book in college that contained all of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, historical plays and sonnets. Personally, I think the book should have been classified as a lethal weapon by the CIA and NSA; it was heavy enough.

I still have the book, too. At the sight of it, even the hardiest burglar shrieks and runs away in utter terror.

Others have used books as paperweights, fans, as a means of preserving flowers (place flowers between two sheets of waxed paper, insert into book and wait a while), or as a prop for keeping a window or door open. One of my relatives even uses a book (an old one, mind you) underneath the leg of an antique iron bed to keep it from shifting back and forth. I’ve even seen photos where people turn old books into sculptures. Clever!

Or if you’re the Seattle Public Library, you can even use books to promote your summer reading program and set a new world record for book dominoes. Enjoy!




Filed under Writing

27 responses to “Books: Not just for reading anymore

  1. Yes. ALL of the above, including leveling tables, as a table base with a glass top … and best of all, as a place to collect a LOT of dust. But usually AFTER having read them. Usually.

  2. All the more reasons why paper books will not go the wayside–they are too useful! I can’t imagine hiding my secret stash in a Kindle. (Remember that scene in National Treasure?)

  3. travelrat

    Something else you can’t do with a Kindle! πŸ˜€

  4. OOOOOOOOOOooooooooo I shared this with Rosemary!

  5. To me, they are ‘touchstones’. Just picking up; touching a significant book I’ve read puts me in the frame of mind the author intended. That’s powerful.

  6. I’ve seen them used to create actual bookshelves, which I found impressive and I have planned to give it a go, but just never get around to it..
    Wow @ the book domino set up. Amazing!

    Great post, thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  7. I came by to Thank You for liking my blog and your Awesome comment. I can learn much from your blog site, I shall return. πŸ™‚

  8. I am guilty of using books as weapons. They are just too effective! And I love that video. Looks like so much fun. πŸ˜€ And I’m actually envious of those who get to put all the books back in their shelves. Is it weird that I enjoy shelving? haha

  9. When I had to hide my late-night reading light from a spouse who never did understand my need to read, I’d stack books up around a makeshift light so he could not see the glow.
    You can stack books at different angles, almost make a bridge over a light source.
    Books can be used to hide items behind them, also.

  10. Jaclyn

    Then there’s the great debate over whether books should be used as raw materials for crafting. There’s the NO BOOKS ARE SACRED OMG camp, and then there’s the I LIKE BOOKS AND I WANT TO WEAR THEM IN MY EARS camp. Given that I have “Marple” and “Poirot” earrings made from book pages, and necklaces featuring illustrations from Winnie-the-Pooh and the Penguin Classics tuxedo-clad bird, you can guess which camp I fall into! I’m all about a thrift-store book that would otherwise be thrown away finding new life in a Christmas ornament or piece of jewelry!

  11. Being Jewish, I was raised to have a reverence for books. Jews are called “The People of the Book,” and although my family knows nothing about Judaism, they are passionate about books, both in terms of what’s between their pages and in terms of the physical book itself. Leaving a book open, face-down, was as much a sin in my house as….as something. But you get the idea. Dog-ear a corner? Blasphemy! So…..nix, nix to the book domino fun game!

    • I hear ya! I don’t like leaving books face down or dog-earing a corner, either. Bookmarks are a wonderful invention; I’ll even use a scrap of paper for a bookmark if I don’t have anything else.


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