10 ways to recycle your old books

Monday, June 11, 2018
by Magdalena Bentia

Books are hard to get rid of because like a vacation or lecture, at some point they either took us on a journey or taught us something. As a result many people end up with a collection of books that they haven’t touched in years. If you do decide to renew your library here are a couple of ideas on how to transform your books into new things or how to pass them on to someone else.

1. Thrift store

Donate to your local thrift shop such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army! Your books are sure to find a new home in the hands of another eager reader.

2. Transform into gift tags or envelopes 

If your books are torn and not in the best shape, consider having a craft night and reusing them to make gift tags or envelopes. You’ll have the most unique gift and have fun making it too! Here are some resources on how to make gift tags and envelopes.

3. Let your books travel the world 

Share them with others via Book Crossing. This online site allows you to set your book free to a stranger or another Book Crossing Member. You can track your book via the unique BookCrossing ID assigned to each book. This way, you can see who has read your book and where it is now!

4. Book headboard

If you love books why not include them in your decoration at home! Make a headboard with old books with these easy steps. The best part is finding pages that have a personal meaning to you and displaying them.

5. Make a change with Textbooks for Change

Textbooks for Change is an organization that allows you to send in your old textbooks to help other students around the world or locally. If those textbooks end up being too outdated they will also take care of recycling them properly! It’s a win-win. Locate a drop box near you via their website!

6. Build a free mailbox library

If you’re looking for a fun weekend project, why not build a free mailbox library? This small mailbox of books on your front lawn allows your neighbours or anyone who passes by to pick up a new free book and bring one back in exchange. By following these simple steps you may end up becoming the coolest neighbour in town.There are many inspirational designs out there many of which can be found on this Pinterest page.

7. White elephant book exchange 

Add a spin on your next get together by telling everyone to come with a wrapped book. This White Elephant book party gives the guests a chance to give and receive a book. Here are a couple of ideas on how to organize this event.

8. Potted books 

Turn your old books into a pot for your plants! This may sound strange but really you can make a pot out of anything. By following the instructions on the Cut Out and Keep website you too can create a beautiful display in your home.

9. Phone charging station or book?

In a modern age with shiny new charging stations for phones, why not create your own out of old books? It’s quite simple and looks discrete and elegant on any bedside table. Check out this DIY blog for instructions on how to create it yourself.

10. Secret storage book

If you’re looking for a place to hide your snacks from your family or just to store keepsakes, consider transforming one of your old books into a secret storage box. Simply follow the tutorial video for instructions on how create your very own storage container. Now if only we could figure out how to create a bookshelf that slides open when you take a book off the shelf...