Back in the 90s, I worked at a Midwestern independent bookstore helmed by a fascinating and charismatic man. Our store meetings and social occasions would give rise to his impassioned lectures of “the soul of the book”. Even at that time, he knew, books and reading were under attack. The now ubiquitous e-readers were expensive novelties, only owned by the rabid early adopters of technologies.
Now, it seems everyone and anyone has begun to forsake the musty physical charms of a real book for the convenience of the soulless machine that has any book you want, anytime you want it, right at your fingertips. But what to do with all those pesky books you have littering your household? Never fear, there are plenty of uses for books beyond reading!
Having trouble with doors swinging shut of their own accord? Worried about what your toddler or teenager or dog might be up to behind closed doors? No problem! Use a hefty tome to prop the door open, so you can keep a watchful eye on your progeny. Best books to use for this: War and Peace, the collected works of Shakespeare, anything large and unwieldy enough to hold up doors and impress people who happen by.
Sometimes you have treasures that won’t fit neatly into the faux can of pineapples you have hiding in your cupboard. With a swipe or two of an Exacto knife, you now have the perfect place to nestle your most precious belongings. Best books to use for this: any textbooks left over from college, or past their prime trendy self-help books. Basically, anything people aren’t likely to pick off the shelf for a quick peek.
Books are there to protect you, from things that go bump in the night. Even a zombie can be felled by a book to the brain (brainssssss…….). Best books to use for this: the bible, or any religious tome. Save your immortal soul while protecting your physical self.
Similarly, books are there to cuddle or rest your head on. Best books to use for this: fat mass market paperbacks. The more lurid the thriller, the cushier the rest it provides.
Barbie’s Dressing Room
Surely she doesn’t want to suffer the indignity of changing in front of everyone! Two books upended provide the perfect cover to swap outfits before hopping into the Barbie mobile to pick Ken or GI Joe up for that hot date. Best books to use for this: Dr. Seuss books, or any child’s picture book. Nothing too sweet and innocent though, Barbie lives life on the edge!
Books can pitch hit for a Christmas tree…
a coffee table…
or the backdrop to the most important and memorable day in your life.
So there’s no need to haul all those books you’re not reading to the thrift store or toss them in the fireplace (hmm, another use? heat? maybe too controversial, unless of course you’re using your copy of Fahrenheit 451 as kindling) they still have plenty of life left in them!