Feeling the weight of a book in my hands, flipping back through its pages to re-read a particularly crucial or well-written paragraph, using a bookmark to hold my place while I ponder what I've just read -- those are some of the things I still love about reading. But with e-books fast on the rise, it's time to think, however reluctantly, about what will happen to all the non-virtual volumes already printed as more and more people abandon the page for the screen.
The beautiful work of Indian designer Devi Chand makes me a little less sad about that inevitable prospect.
Chand wrote to TreeHugger recently to tell us about her Etsy shop selling eco-friendly jewelry, primarily made from recycled paper. Most of the pieces I like best are made from discarded newspapers, but it seems old books could be used just as readily to create something as artistic as the words originally printed on them.
Art From Old Books
Not long ago, we also got a peek at the work of artist Jeff Berman, who sent in some images of his work, including a picture of one particularly poignant piece -- a paper tree rising out of a book.
Crafty Ideas To Try At Home
Feeling inspired to do something crafty yourself? The website BookArmy has a list of "100 Uses for Unwanted Books." While some are silly (a book maze for hamsters?) and others obvious (donate, use pages as gift wrap), others are fun, clever, and even useful. Who knew placing a line of open books underneath your garden could help channel and absorb excess rain water?
UPDATE (6 MARCH 2012): The BookArmy website appears to be no more, but there are plenty of other places online to find creative new uses for old books, from making furniture and home accessories to holiday decorations and book art.
More On Recycling And Repairing Books
Five Ingenious Things To Do With Discarded Books
Brilliant Ways to Reuse Books
14 Reuses for Phone Books
Repair Damaged Book Binding
Learn Proper Book Maintenance, Make Your Books Last