8 Alternative Uses for Epic Novels

bn02113catsbookskittiesChances are good we all have at least a few in our houses: epic novels that are at least 700 pages long. I’ve heard them called many things—shelf benders, door stoppers, and lap numbers, to name a few.

With the economy still less than robust, and people trying to pinch pennies wherever possible, I’ve come up with a few alterative uses for these massive tomes.

  1. Home security. Ever been hit over the head with a 1,000-page novel? Have a copy of a book like Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings (1008 pages) readily available on your nightstand to defend yourself from intruders. Works effectively as an impact weapon as well as a projectile.
  2. Insulation. Constructing bookshelves on your exterior walls really does reduce your energy bill! As Joel Ricket says in this article, “Books are the original insulator. A shelf of books along an outside wall works well to prevent heat escaping. If all the books were removed from the homes in Britain, our energy bills would rocket.”
  3. Step aerobics. The price of trendy exercise equipment can be outrageous! Fantasy fans looking to get in shape can save a substantial amount of money simply by gathering up hardcover copies of series like George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire—A Game of Thrones (694 pages), A Clash of Kings (768 pages), A Storm of Swords (974 pages), A Feast for Crows (754 pages), and A Dance with Dragons (1040 pages), and creating their own aerobic steps.
  4. Pest control. Creepy crawlies don’t stand a chance against L. Ron Hubbard’s 1006-page epic Battlefield Earth, which can almost instantaneously turn any spider, ant, or small rodent into gooey paste.
  5. Secret storage receptacles. Got something to hide? Hollow out the insides of an old shelf bender like David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest to create a perfect secret storage for jewelry, cash, or any number of unmentionable items.
  6. Makeshift booster seat. When my first daughter thought that she was old enough to eat at the dinner table sans highchair, I utilized the 1138-page omnibus hardcover edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. (Strangely enough, she found this unlikely booster seat perfect for second breakfasts and elevensies…)
  7. Bookends. What better use of mammoth books than to keep other, lesser books in line? Duologies are particularly good for this, like Dan Simmons’ Ilium (752 pages) and Olympos (912 pages).
  8. Educational aids. Reenact Edgar Allan Poe’s classic short story “The Casque of Amontillado“—in which an unsuspecting man dies a gruesome death after being bricked into a catacomb niche—by taking a dozen or so hefty hardcovers and “bricking” your child into a closet or small room. The youngsters will learn about Poe and the meaning of immurement, and will undoubtedly be scarred for life!

What’s the longest, hugest book you own?

  • Hey, I guess my office is really well insulated then, lol! I have at least four huge bookshelves full to bursting!

  • Heather H

    I love number 6

  • This is great and I have used 6 several times. totally going to use the insulation thing when I try to convince the hubs our family room should be wall to wall bookshelves!

  • lattedoubleshotcafe

    Like This..And Hoping for a Book Club…In the meantime …Reading The Taken…And Dare to Die.I am #5…Love #6…Lets Keep This…

  • the longest book I’ve read is “The Conspiration” by Dan Brown, with 600 pages.

  • Lulu S

    I am #6 and #7. Love the other uses.

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