The Repurposed Library, and it's all about using old books that are falling apart and no one wants anymore and turning them into new projects. Like chandeliers and shelves and stash boxes, and artsy stuff like "book-mobiles" (i.e., hanging mobiles made from books). Honestly, there is some really really cool stuff in this book. Click here to see a gallery of some of the projects.
I decided that I would make the Sewing Box...where you cut out the interior pages of the book and cut down some balsa wood to make "compartments" for all of your little sewing goodies, and then you hot glue the whole thing together. I set out after work one day to find the right book to cut up and use for my sewing box, but finding the right book turned out to be much harder than I thought. I learned something about myself that day: I am very in love with books!
The Repurposed Library, gives us ample information about which books are ideal for cutting up and which ones you should leave as is. And honestly, I love the idea of doing something cool with the botany photos from an old, outdated encyclopedia that is sitting on a dusty shelf in the basement of a library. But when I went out to find my book, I ran into some problems. Namely, I kept buying books that had value! And not just monetary value...I mean sentimental value, or this-is-too-pretty-to-cut-up value, or this-is-too-freaking-cool-for-words value. Or maybe I just have a disapproving old librarian who has taken up residence in my psyche? (By the way, if I had a guardian angel, it would totally be a disapproving librarian.)
bookfinder.com, there are copies of this book listed for between $50 and $100. Clearly I need to take it to a rare book dealer to find out what the heck I actually have, but in the meantime, I like the idea of having a 111 year old book in my house. We've become fast friends.
Oh! I love the many lives that books lead, the hands they get passed through. That's just the thing...I always get the sense when I pick up a used book that there is some sort of energy running through it, like you can feel that someone has held this book and felt something, thought something, been inspired (or maybe even annoyed or bored.) But to have a sketch like this is priceless. It's testament to the book's former life. It's physical manifestation of a human that was inspired.
I do hope you have enjoyed my little tour of magical old books! I really had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started shopping, and now I look at old books in a completely different way. Look at how much I learned? How much I pondered humanity? The beauty of old books versus the cold plastic of an e-reader? The feeling that we are all keepers of vast libraries where we share books with the dead and with generations yet to be born? Pretty cool stuff, in my opinion.
Alas, if you have an old book and want to know if it's worth something, go to bookfinder.com and play around with their search engine. You will likely get lost for hours, as I have, but you'll feel like a real smarty-pants nerd when all is said and done.