Dispatches from the Digital Revolution

A few unconventional uses for p-books


Thanks to the holiday surge, more consumers are using ereaders—which means digital content purchases are increasing as well. So, now that more of us are electronically connected, what should we do with our now-useless print books?

Just kidding.

But, after reading Emily’s post about her book-related postcards and how they appeal to an emotional connection with print, I was curious to see what else was out there for merchandise. After all, I truly am a sucker for these things. I confess, my absolute favorite t-shirt of all time features an old Nancy Drew book cover, which I purchased from Out of Print. While I certainly don’t see print books going away anytime soon, I do think I view my old, dusty hardcovers with a certain sense of nostalgia—especially the ones that I grew up reading as a child.

Anyway, one thing led to another, and rather than looking at newly-created merchandise, I somehow found myself researching ways that people are repurposing old books.

For example, some artists like Su Blackwell deconstruct physical books and convert them into gorgeous, intricate sculptures. (You have to look through her portfolio; these installations are absolutely amazing.)

But you don’t have to have an artistic eye to recycle your books, either. There are plenty of Etsy users who have found creative ways for repurposing old books for functional use.

Here are a few interesting examples.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bookshelf: Komunications @ Etsy
Hidden Storage: SecretStorageBooks @ Etsy
Jewelry: thebookishlife @ Etsy
Purse: retrograndma @ Etsy
Charging Dock: RichNeelyDesigns @ Etsy
Kindle Case: BustedTypewriter @ Etsy

As Emily explored in her post, I definitely think a lot of these repurposed covers appeal to those of us who have an emotional connection to print books, and I do wonder if we’ll be seeing an increase in DIY book repurposing as a parallel trend with digitalization.

Plus, there’s something sort of ironic, yet oh-so-right (or wrong?) in protecting your ereader with the repurposed hardcover of one of your old-time favorites, no?

3 comments on “A few unconventional uses for p-books

  1. Lana Popovic
    January 20, 2012

    I find this post oh-so-right 🙂 I don’t consider myself a crafty person at all, but these were undeniably heartwarming. Thanks for compiling them for those of us who fear Etsy.

  2. Pingback: Distance learning: what independent e-tailers can teach writers about self-promotion « appazoogle

  3. Pingback: If you can’t read print books, why not wear them (or use them as decorations)? | appazoogle

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on January 19, 2012 by in Culture and tagged , .

Follow Appazoogle on Twitter


  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: