Welcome to week 7 of our 10 part series on where we scour for the best junk around. Check here if you missed a week and want to catch up.
A Case for Books
The Library might seem a bit odd as a hunting ground for junk. It pretty much has only one item to offer, but if you ask me there is so much to do with that one item! Our library has a FREE books section. Now, you know that is one of my favorite words. It is this giant case full of free books. Books land on this shelf when they are retired, donated and not used by the library or when the library needs to make room for the new. So…most of these books are old, which makes my heart go pitter patter. In our living room one whole wall is floor to ceiling bookcases. I may or may not have a small addiction to old books, especial sets. There is just something mind boggling to me that you can find books over 100 years old for $1, or even free. Isn’t that cool, or is it just me?
Like many things, they don’t make ’em like they used to. The beautiful hardback covers in leather or cloth with shiny gold lettering are a site to behold. They are delicious bites of artwork to me. With e-readers gaining popularity I am fearful my kids or grandkids will never know the way it feels to hold a quality well made book in their hands. Much less how to pour through one to find information. My daughter, when working on a school project recently, asked me if she could look some information up on my computer. When she told me the subject and I replied that we could look it up in an encyclopedia I received a look of complete confusion. “What do you mean? We have a book about that in our house? What is an encyclopedia?” she asked. Gone are the days of card catalogs, stacks of books on your desk to research through or physically looking in an encyclopedia or dictionary. To one degree life is easier. To the other, what a shame. You learn so much more when flipping through a book, accidently coming across a different topic that interests you or intriguing pictures you wouldn’t have seen with a pinpoint search on Google. There is also no fear in little eyes coming across inappropriate information in a book like when surfing the web.
In addition to the infinite wisdom and entertainment held inside, books make for stunning decorating. They can add just the right pop of color, add height to vignettes and display your personality in a unique way. When you decorate with books from your favorite author or topic it instantly tells your guests something special about you. They are universal in the sense that you could use them in any and every room of your home. They liven up a coffee table or bedside, stack beautifully on a mantel and are great in small spaces. You can find amazing picture books that serve as one of a kind artwork when framed up. Old children’s books can make an inspiring jumping off point for a nursery theme. Botanicals add grace to living spaces. The ideas are endless.
If you have a hankering for crafting with old books then free is a pretty good supply cost. I have pinned a few fun book projects on Pinterest if you want to check them out. Weather ripping out a page or carving designs out of the meat of a book every part and piece holds potential to be transformed into something else.
I’ve also found books for gifts. This past Christmas I gave my baseball lovin’ nephew some baseball history books I found on the free shelves. You will inevitably come across a topic that makes you think of a loved one when you take the time to shop the shelves. Books are always a fun way to say I love you, I was thinking about you. They can be very personal.
Most libraries have either a free section or an annual to bi-annual book sale. These sales aren’t “free”, but they are great deals for whatever you may be interested in. I have scored some amazing books sets at our local Friends of the Library Sale. You can too. I hope you will visit your local library with fresh eyes and a new mission!
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