I Destroyed a Book Today

I decided that I wanted to do some sort of craft project this weekend. In part because I had not made anything with my hands in some time, and in part because I wanted something to do while my girlfriend was at work that was more productive than watching Mythbusters on Netflix. I searched around online for a bit and came across instructions for hollowing out a book for putting stuff in (think Tim Robbins in Shawshank Redemption). I don’t really have anything I need to hide in a book, but I always liked the idea so I decided to do it.

Saturday morning I went out of supplies, which in this case was just a few books from the local thrift store. I ended up with a book of patent law from 1954. It has a nice leather binding so it will look good on a shelf and is a long book so it will have a nice deep cavity. Once I got home and got everything set up I froze before I could get started. I encountered a visceral discomfort at the idea of destroying a book. It is just an out of date legal reference book, but I was having a hard time convincing myself that it would not be useful. What if someone asked a question about patent law? What would I do then, having destroying my only patent law book? Plus, when I flipped through the book some of it looked quite interesting. Sure in reality I would never read through it, but still. On top of that I am just really uncomfortable with the idea of destroying any book regardless of its content. I was aware that I had a visceral reaction to books being destroyed, but I was surprised at how strong the reaction was for even a 50 year out of date reference book.

It took my a good 15 minutes to get over my discomfort and get around to starting the project. Once I got started I got into it (but good lord does it take a long time to x-acto knife your way through 700 pages) and ended up watching Mythbusters all day while I worked anyway.

Its a neat project and I think that I am going to make another, this time with a slot in the top so I have a place to keep coins that isn’t a coffee mug on my desk. I’ll just have to make sure and find an even more obscure and useless book to see if I am just as uncomfortable.

I totally believe you hollowed out a book with an xacto knife. What I can’t believe is that you thought a book about patent law looked interesting. I’m having a difficult time imagining a more perfect book for your project.

the first time I tried to do it, I did just as you did,
and gave up half way through the project.
It helps to glue the pages together first, drill holes, then
cut out the opening with a coping saw.
waiting for the glue to dry is the main thing…
or maybe finding a book you really hate.:smack:

That sucks, because I just happened to have this burning question about patent law come up today.

Now if you could come up with a craft idea for the ~1000 microwave cook books found in thrift stores, you might be on to something.

Other than that, I’m with ya bro. I’d have a really hard time destroying a book. Well, maybe not a Mary Higgens Clark book…

Piggy bank is a cool idea.

May I suggest The Secret as your next book project? Be sure to read the most helpful review.

I own a wood & leather box that looks *almost exactly like *a book.

You don’t need to wreck a book.

I got mine at a home decor outlet store.

Wouldn’t an old, unwanted book be quite a lot cheaper than buying a new box from a home decor store?

I really wish I had thought of this before I burned my hardcover copy of Naked Empire.

But then I would have a copy of The Secret on my bookshelf. I think that I might prefer to burn my entire library than to sully it with that. (Love that review though)

I think I have a book on that. Wait… damn it!

That is a really good idea. I have a drill and I imagine I can get a coping saw for fairly cheap. I did start by gluing the pages together this time, but next time I am definitely going to give this method a shot.

I would like to point out that though he could have bought a box-that-looks-like-a-book at a store, he wanted something crafty to DO. I watched a whole cooking show marathon on Bravo one weekend, sewing a canvas canopy shade for our porch swing. It was my idea of a fun day!

My dad had one of those; the title on the spine was “A Solution for Many Problems”, inside was a pint flask and two shot glasses held in place with elastic bands.


As for candidates for altered book projects, there are approximately 2.6 gazillion Reader’s Digest Condensed Books available. These are usually sold at used book stores by volume…that is, you go in, tell the nice clerk that you need about ten feet of books, and they’ll measure out ten feet of books. I am told that some people do this because they want to fill their empty book cases. I’m not sure that I believe that it’s POSSIBLE to have an empty book case. Right now, I have quite a few boxes of books in storage, and all my book cases are not just full, but overfull.

I think that the OP chose the right book for the project. The information is no longer useful, but it’s still physically attractive, and much nicer looking than a Reader’s Digest condensed book.

It’s an outdated book on patent law…it’s not like it was a first edition of Frankenstein, or anything. Big freakin’ whoop-di-do.

My ex-girlfriend married a patent lawyer. I would have gleefully helped you destroy the book.

Your dad: Awesome.

My african grey Jeff Bird would have helped. He is obsessed with destroying books. Earlier this year, he picked the latch on his cage, walked through 2 rooms and climbed up on the couch to find my hardcover book. He then took a series of inch-deep chomps around the edge, climbed back down, returned to his cage, and shut the door. it was nearly a perfect crime.

I can sympathize, I have a hard time getting rid of or harming books but I would like to do a couple of crafts I’ve seen done with books. I would probably end up having to buy used books to craft with because I wouldn’t want to destroy any of the books I own.*

Have you seen the shelf made with books so it looks like you have a few books just floating on the wall? I think I saw this on instructables.com.

*Although I think I have finally reconciled myself to tossing certain old paperbacks into the recycling bin. I think the info in getting college grants from 1990 is a little out of date and the book isn’t interesting or pretty enough for crafts.

We have a friend who destroys books to make birdhouses. Each birdhouse is unique. We have a few of them. Here is one example.

That is absolutely hysterical.