Monday, November 5, 2012

A Book's Special (Re)Purpose

Post by Jenny

I realize I’m one of the last twelve people without an iPad, a Nook, a Kindle, or any other e-reader tablet. My holdout is not one of spiteful stubbornness like that other thing (You’ll never get me, Facebook! Never!) but more in keeping with my typical modus operandi of being at least two years behind every trend.

However, I recently took two small steps toward the brave (not so) new world of e-readers: I borrowed a Nook Color from my library, and I downloaded my latest book club selection using the Kindle app on my iPhone. The Nook is preloaded with reading material chosen by the library, and I’ve had fun browsing through the varied selections and exploring the many features.

I had reservations about reading an entire novel on my phone, but it worked out better than I imagined. I always had it with me, so even the briefest idle moment could be spent reading instead of playing FreeCell. And flipping so quickly through the tiny pages made me feel like a star Evelyn Wood pupil.

But with e-books commanding a bigger share of the market, I do wonder what will happen to the real books of the world, the ones that fewer people want to schlep around in bags and backpacks. I needn’t worry, however, as more and more books are being reincarnated as fantastic art and craft projects. A quick internet search returned dozens of possibilities for keeping books out of the landfill by turning them into wreaths, lamps, tables, wallpaper, jewelry, birdhouses, yoga blocks, headboards, picture frames, wall sconces, book safes, clocks, and, appropriately enough, book shelves. And many, many more.

If you prefer to keep your books as books, thank you very much, that doesn’t mean you need to store them out of sight in a musty box under your stairs or risk being seen as a technophobe. Damian Thompson’s Books Make a Home -- Elegant Ideas for Storing and Displaying Books is full of gorgeous pictures of bookshelves, and other pieces of furniture for every room of a home, unapologetically packed with books. Even freestanding stacks of books are given a nod, although, the author cautions, households with pets or toddlers may wish to forego them. (“Honey, have you seen the cat?”)

Last but not least, check out how artist Guy Laramée turns books into amazing topographical sculptures.

What fate is in store for your old books?


Rini K said...

My books will stay on the shelf where I can occasionally sniff them for that lovely book smell :) (yes, I am that kind of person .... :))

Jenny said...

Here's to book sniffing! Bookstores smell good, too, especially with a little coffee aroma mixed in.

N. R. Williams said...

Nice to meet you Jenny. Great post on all things books. I don't have an e-reader either and I'm an e-published author. Go figure. When you came to visit you mentioned that you found me via Pat's Cir. I don't know who this is or if it is a Pat I know what this refers to. I'd loved to visit, can you provide more?

Jenny said...

Oh, it's Pat Stoltey, who posts on Tuesdays at the Chiseled in Rock blog of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers :-)

mare ball said...

I don't have any e-readers either, so you're not alone! I dragged my feet on getting a cell phone. :-) I'd much rather hold an actual book. But, it's true they are going by the wayside. Sadly. I'm currently copying all my VHS tapes over to DVDs!

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