Books give us hours of pleasure, so it's no wonder we like to treasure them forever. Full of exhilarating adventures, characters that become our friends, and plenty of belly-laugh moments, it always seems such a shame to have to throw them away.
Well, what if there were other ways of using books, other than just for reading? As a devout bookworm, it's got to the point where I struggle to find space on my bookcase. I was interested to see what else I could use my favourite stories for when I just can't bear to part with them.
1. Arrange your books tastefully for blindingly beautiful bookcases
Got some shelving in your living room that is looking a bit bare? A selection of books in all shapes and sizes will soon fix that.
I've rearranged mine in several different ways on my shelves, and they've truly transformed the room. Place them horizontally, but also landscape, and don't be afraid to split them up leaving gaps in between.
Play around until you find something that works for you. Need some inspiration? House & Garden have gathered 101 beautiful bookcases, sure to inspire you.
2. Use your old books to craft bookmarks for your new ones
I love this idea. I'm always loosing my old bookmarks, so this would be great for me.
The spine of a hardback makes the perfect, sturdy bookmark for even the biggest of books. Whilst it does mean you'll have to take the cover off of one of your old stories, you'll be able to remember it every time you see your new bookmark.
These would also make lovely presents and stocking fillers for any fellow book worms you may know.
Crafting a Green World has 20 more ways to make your own bookmarks from old things - go check them out!
3. Make your own coffee table using books as the legs
What better place to read than over a coffee table? Better still if the legs are built from books.
If you've got a collection of hardcover books, you can certainly do this at home. Build up 'legs' from the sturdy books, then place a flat surface on top for the ultimate, book lovers coffee table.
Rounded-off glass looks best, as it will showcase all the beautiful books that lie beneath.
4. Keep all your favourite treasures inside your old book
This one is wonderful way of completely upcycling your old book and giving it a whole new purpose.
By cutting out a square through the pages of your old book, a sort of 'compartment' will be created. Close the cover on your book, and this will be completely hidden from view.
5. A DIY doorstop
There's no need to spend money on doorstops if you're a bookworm.
Keep your reading room at perfect temperature by propping the door open...with books! Pile up some of your old, heavy pieces of literature, and it will keep the door open whilst you read to your heart's content.
6. Use old books to create secret storage
If you're struggling for storage but still want to keep your lovely literature on show, this idea is for you.
By using just the spines on your bookcases, you can cover up storage boxes that sit on shelves. That way you'll get the look of a bookcase, without having to forfeit the space.
Alternatively, you can create a sort of 'screen' without using any boxes at all. Glue the spines of your books together directly, and then add the side of one of your books to each end. You'll be able to hide your wares behind this 'screen', and visitors will be none the wiser.
7. Book covers make the perfect greeting cards
A really creative and easy way of reusing old books is to send them as cards to loved ones.
The cover will make a charming little gift to your friends and family. Plus, as it's a book you've read and loved yourself, it's much more special than buying one. Something that special is sure to put a smile on the reciever's face.
8. Create a wall montage from old books
Books aren't just meant to go on shelves. Think outside the box a little, and you'll be surprised just where you can use them.
One of my favourite ways to repurpose old books is to feature them on my wall. Whether it's a single page or the cover, they make meaningful artwork that is both interesting and attractive.
9. Cover up candle holders with wonderful words
There's something so calming about the soft light of lit candles. Make their effect even more powerful, with the addition of some of your favourite words.
Wrap pages from your favourite books around glass candle holders to instantly update them. These would make truly unique presents for your fellow bookworm friends. Pick pages from a book you both enjoy and get wrapping - they'll be truly touched when they realise what you've down.
10. Use children's books to keep dinner time entertaining
Are your little ones learning how to read? If so, some DIY placemats could be extremely helpful in making dinner time both entertaining and educational.
Pick some of the older books, cover them in plastic sticky wrapping, or get them laminated. These will make the perfect placemats for your little ones. You'll be able to encourage them to read, ask questions and help them along as they learn the magic of literature. How's that for a weekend activity?
11. Work up a sweat using books as weights
No time or money to go to a gym? Who needs fancy equipment when you've got 100kg in books lying around?
Start integrating books into your daily workout - starting with the lighter ones and working your way up. They're great for toning triceps, your shoulders and even your legs if you use them to squat with.
12. Upcycle an old book into a fun little word game
I love word games. They're very fun, easy to play and best of all: educational. What's not to like, right?
If you've overdone it a bit on the Scrabble or Boggle, why not try making your own?
Use pages from your old books and cut out a set of words or phrases. You can then use these clippings to play with. If you're playing alone, challenge yourself to come up with compelling, coherent phrases.
If you're in a group, you could each add in a word and try and come up with amusing phrases.
Whatever you decide to do with your words, you're promised hours of fun!
13. Old books make wonderful wrapping paper
Wrapping paper made from old books - it's a bookworm's dream!
Next time you've got something small to wrap, try using a few sheets from your old books. Not only will it looks extremely delicate and pretty, but there's something very intimate about giving a friend part of a story you've cherished.
You never know, in a few years the trend could catch on and they'll be selling rolls of the stuff in-store.
14. An intellectual-looking iPad cover
Whilst overuse of iPads are often frowned upon, being book-obsessed definitely isn't.
You can craft yourself a clever little iPad holder using one of your old books. That way, you'll be able to play on in peace, judgment aside.
Looking like a book as opposed to an expensive digital device will also mean it's less likely to be stolen - handy!
15. Press some flowers
There's no need for a fancy flower press to get crafting with petals and leaves. You can make your own using some old books of yours.
Pro Flowers has a great guide to get you pressing like a pro in no time. Think of all the cracking creations you can make.
16. Use your books as decor around the home
If you've got a lot of old books lying around that you want to make use of, try seeing them a little differently. They're far from clutter!
Instead of redundant, space takers, see them as splashes of colour and texture to use as decor around your home. Whether it be stacking a few on a table, or stuffing a bookcase full of them, books add interest and character to any home.
Thanks for reading. Are you a book lover too? I'd love to know how you reuse old books in the comments below.