If you’re on this site, chances are high that you’re an aficionado of the written word—and if you’re anything like me, this means that over the years you’ve amassed a pretty impressive/shameful collection of paperbacks and hardbacks alike. Sure, I preen like a peacock when someone pulls my copy of The Brothers Karamazov from the shelves, but I’m less than psyched when they stumble across that copy of The Diana Chronicles I can’t quite manage to part with tucked shadily between two Dickens omnibuses.
There ain’t no shame in the book hoarding game—but combine a bibliophile’s passion for amassing a collection with the advent of helpful devices like the Nook, and what have you got? A whole lot of books sitting around unread. Here are some helpful tips for things you can do with those books you won’t be reading again any time soon, but that you just can’t bear to part with.
1. Table Legs. If you’re overwhelmed by your books and seemingly have no place to put them, then it follows that you are probably also in need of more clean surfaces on which to place things. BRING IN THE BOOKS! Stack up four equally high piles of tomes, then slap an ironing board on top. Whammo: the most well-read, precarious table in town.
2. Cunning Disguises. Is your problem not that you don’t want to read your books but that you never seem to have time? Solution! Hollow out one particularly large novel, and the next time someone tries to rudely disturb your reading, don it as a mask. Nobody here but us books! you’ll say with your mind, and it will totally work. Just try to contain your chuckles of triumph. They’ll give you away every time.
3. Fly Traps. During the summer months, house flies have a way of disturbing even the most placid reader. Take a page from my book (see what I did there?) and use those unread books you grabbed at the airport to stop them in their tracks. This is not only resourceful, but it’s blending literature with science: you are now an insect collector! Welcome.
4. Jaunty Hats. “Look! This used to be a copy of A Wrinkle In Time, but now I am wearing it on my head as a hat” is something you could loudly pronounce out of your window, in the hopes of being heard and joined by a legion of book-hat wearing friends.
5. Objects of Violence. Because books are very often contained between two pieces of thick binding, their usefulness as weaponry and projectiles cannot be overstated. People don’t kill people—books fired from cannons do.
6. Fiber. This is sort of a last-resort option, for those of us with so many books that access to our front doors has become compromised. Chew on whatever book is closest in a vain bid to stave off starvation. If Charlie Chaplin can eat a boiled shoe, than surely you can survive another week on The Hobbit.
7. A Throne. Sure, if we wanted to be ‘trendy’ we could suggest you forge an Iron Throne, but let’s be real—iron is not that comfortable. Why deal with all those pointy pieces of metal when you can relax into a throne compromised of your old Babysitter’s Club books? Bored with Kristy and the gang? Loudly announce, “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!” You are the king/queen, after all.
What’s your favorite non-reading use for your books?