6 Things to do with old books

Got books hanging around, that you no longer read? Don’t bin them! If you’re struggling for ideas, we’ve come up with six suggestions of how to give your books a new lease of life.


Donate them to your local library

Take your gently used books to your town’s library – the institution will really appreciate it, and your old novels will provide joy to many readers in your community who can’t afford to buy their own books, or who just prefer to borrow.


Give them to a local charity

If they’re in good condition, bring in your boxes of pre-loved books to your local British Heart Foundation, Salvation Army or Dogs Trust charity. The store will be able to use the money they make selling them to continue to fund their good work.


Offer them to your neighbours

Pop round to the people next door and see if they’d like to take them off your hands. Not only is this a great way to get to know the people that live near you, but the simple gesture might brighten up a lonely neighbour’s day, and provide them with a read they might not normally have chosen for themselves.


Create black-out poetry

Grab a pen and get your creative juices flowing. Look for and circle collections of words within the text that work well together, shade or pattern the words that you don’t want to feature, and create some beautiful poetry. It’s a great way to chill out after a busy day.


Make a quote board

Find words and sentences in the texts that stand out to you, and arrange them into motivational or inspirational quotes. Create a collage with what you find, and pin it up on your wall to look to, when you’re in need of some positivity.


Make a secret box

  1. Cut out a paper template that is the size of the opening you want your box to have.
  2. Open the book’s front cover and tape down the template.
  3. Use a craft knife to cut around the template – make sure that you push down hard, as you want to cut through as many pages as possible.
  4. Remove the template and lift out all the unwanted page scraps. Open the book to a few pages ahead of where you stopped cutting. Use that page to guide your next set up cuts – make use of a binder clip to secure the uncut pages.
  5. Repeat this until your box is as deep as you’d like it to be.
  6. (Optional) If you want the book box pages to stay together, glue around the outer edge of all the pages.