If you are a reader on Pinterest you may have already stumbled on some of the images contained in this post. If you are not, or if you do not use Pinterest for bookishness-related articles, this may be shocking.
Pinners have suggested and accumulated quite a variety of DIY projects which I assume are for conveying a love of reading and books. Or, at least of presenting an image of studious sensibility. In fact, they desecrate manuscripts and relegate reading material to craft supplies. The horror and shame of it all!
Now, I don’t do faux-indignation well so I will say up front that if you have perhaps attempted or are even displaying such paraphernalia on your Pinterest Boards or your home walls, then we’ll have to just agree to disagree about these being good ideas, but I don’t think less of you as a person. Life is too short to really get worked up over this.
HOWEVER! If I did do faux-indignation this would be the subject. What kind of sense does it make to take perfectly good literature and shred it or twist it or bend it or braid it for an aesthetic? What kind of sense? If a book is good, then for crying out loud, at the very least pass it on to someone else if you don’t want to read it again. If a book is bad, do you really want copies of it displayed around your house. Because someone who actually does read books may one day waltz through your doors and when they do, the first thing they will look for is reading material (I’m sorry, it’s what we do). And you have drivel on the wall/floor/table. We are people who grew up reading the back of cereal boxes because if we weren’t reading something, we stopped functioning reliably. They/we/I will read the drivel and be sad and make a note to never trust your judgment of books. I suspect that would not be a good book-crafter’s intent at all. So, avoid it from the start.
Since I try to keep the tone on Reviews & Revisions positive, I will not go into great lengths to display some of these atrocities; however, I will gladly share some of the creative, and in my opinion, reasonable options for creating a home resplendent in literary tribute. I found some brilliant book-related projects that, if I walked into your house and found completed I would applaud and gush and talk about them until everyone was uncomfortable (I’m an introvert, and I don’t read social signals well so this would happen, but it’s about books so maybe I’d be forgiven?).
I present for your faux-indignation-inducing consideration: DIY Book Projects to Ban (and those to try instead).
FAUX INDIGNATION: Someone suggested taking pages from books (WHAT!) and papering them on the wall. Show some respect.
RESPECT: A wonderful alternative would be to take a favorite quote from your favorite book and lovingly, painstakingly in beautiful script paint it on an accent wall. Or, follow any one of these eighteen suggestions from the BookBub Blog.
FAUX INDIGNATION: What is it with people taking pages out of books? Do not desecrate your reading material. That accomplishes the opposite of achieving a bookish persona. It makes you out to be a book-hater. Which, I’m sure you’re not. Right? Don’t take the pages out of books to make them into a turkey, make them into a table runner, create a wreath, or otherwise bend, twist, or manipulate. (You think I’m kidding that people would do this? Nope. I saw the instructions for all of these.)
RESPECT: But look: stacking books! Not only do you maintain the integrity of the volume, but you can pair it with wonderful companions that it might not otherwise bump into on a bookshelf. You could stack them, page-side out, to make a Christmas tree.
Attributed to: Thoughts from Alice
If you wanted to use the spine side, you could stack white books to make a snowman. Green and red stacked books could become a festive ornament. Red poinsettias? The possibilities are endless.
If you have the correct amount of red and green books you could also alternate them in a shelving pattern for easy decor at Christmas. Red and pink books for Valentine’s Day. Shoot, if you have a birthday party coming up with a color-coordinated theme you could do it then, too. Or stack the books to look like balloons.
I mean, if you want. All this shelving and stacking takes a while. Don’t do it so much you lose out on reading time: a cautionary tale.
In The Home
FAUX INDIGNATION: I do not have the best or most efficient system for organizing everything in my house, but you know what I would not do, ever never ever in hopes of organizing my home? Cut books out of their covers, glue the covers together, and make a catch-all clutter box to stash my mess. And then post it as a strategy for hiding clutter behind…get this…fake books! They are not fake books! They were real books. You cut out their souls and filled them with junk. There is a book-to-be-written waiting to escape in that analogy too. Don’t ruin them and certainly then don’t have the gall to call them fake!
RESPECT: Love, love, love this idea. Unfortunately, I have zero painting skills. But I would never stop gushing about the steps in your house if these were in there. What books would you paint on your stairs?
….And then after I read this article closer (link below picture), I realized these are decals for your stairs! Genius!
This Picture, Idea, and A Great List for Book-Lovers
can be found at: SlipTalk
Unless you’re reading a plastic baby book, outside elements and books don’t usually mix well together. The dirt! The water! The mess! The horror! The shrinking of covers! The bloating of pages!
FAUX INDIGNATION: One suggestion was to cut a hole (CUT A HOLE) in the center of an old book and make it a planter. Along the same lines someone else thought you could take out the bottom, make an incision in the top and use it as a tissue box. (TISSUES!? FOR YOUR SNOT?!) Books absolutely deserve better than that.
RESPECT: But why would I bring up this category if not to offer a reasonable, decorative, DIY option? Well, I wouldn’t. So, here’s an alternative I would consider if I had a drop of artistic talent: painting bricks. Yes, bricks. Paint them to look like the covers of your favorite books. Even a solid color of paint with some gold gilded lettering or swirly-whirls (technical term there) could pass as beautiful reminders of the stories you have read and enjoyed. All the while your books are cheering on your sensibilities, lauding you as their favorite reader ever, and are safe inside.
Attributed to: The Glamorous Housewife
So there you have it. My faux-indignation about Pinterest DIY book projects. Half of them are shocking; the other half are clever if you possess the requisite talent and time. Hats off to you creatives!