The ultimate answer when you don’t want to get rid of your books (but know you should)

Filed in Blog by on August 24, 2012 7 Comments
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how to repurpose your books

As you know I’m on a decluttering mission (geesh, how many years have I been saying that now!?)

Anyway, one of the most difficult things for many people to get rid of is books.

I don’t know what it is about them, the smell of the pages, memories of reading them at certain points in your life or just the look of them on a shelf?


Whatever it is, it’s a common challenge and one which doesn’t really have an answer.

I have moved bookcases of books in my time, from one house to another. I’ve not read half the books (they were my grandfathers). Some I never wanted to read again (think novels or self help books that weren’t very helpful). I had old school books that I have no interest in and by the time Little Miss Green is that age all the information will be different.

It feels that it was somehow ingrained in me that ‘we don’t get rid of books’; a love of English at school perhaps, the memory of a favourite English Literature teacher or a family friend who used to discuss Shakespeare with me, and consequently I felt very grown up and clever.

I remember a few years ago taking the plunge and feeling a mixture of emotions – freedom, guilt, worry that I’d regret it, but in all honesty I’ve just appreciated the space…

Mr Green, on the other hand is a hoarder of all things. Books, bootlaces, brackets, bottles – he’ll keep it all. He has old books that are so out of date now they are laughable; he’ll never read them again but he can’t let them go. I reckon his village was ransacked in a past Medieval life or perhaps he was a pirate and still enjoys a good hoard of treasure.

Whatever the reason our shelves groan under the weight of his unread reading matter, while I inwardly groan to myself and fantasise about working my way through them as firelighters. But this week, dear readers I have found the perfect solution to our incompatibility.

Check this out from the Delft University of Technology. It has to be the ultimate way to repurpose books:

I could definitely see myself working at a desk like this!


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (7)

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  1. Pat says:

    That is the most awesome use of old books I’ve ever seen! And really shows how beautiful they are even just stacked up. Colors, sizes. Just lovely. Is there glass on the top?

  2. Sandy says:

    wow, brillant, matbee a bookcase would be a good idea LOL

  3. Beautiful, isn’t it. We use our old Encyclopaedia Britannica as a TV stand & we love it.

  4. Julie Day says:

    That is so good. I recently went to the Royal Festival Hall in London and saw they had two displays of old books made into what I wasn’t sure. It was one way to reuse them. Me, I just take them to the local charity shop, or take them to meetings where there is usually a raffle.

  5. Jennifer says:

    I don’t know why this makes me sad. I mean, if they aren’t getting read….

  6. Sooz says:

    I love this! I nagged at work for a desk like this when we moved into a new building (I work in a library) but I didn’t get one…I tried for a chair made out of books too…and was also shot down…so instead we have an MDF one that’s already breaking after 6 months…I’ve managed not to say ‘I told you so’ yet!

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