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3 Unusual Ways To Get More Out of Your Old Books

3 Unusual Ways To Get More Out of Your Old Books

As a regular reader, it’s natural to have book shelves overflowing with books, both new and old.

Even after reading books, to some extent, it’s great to still have them around for reference purposes, to revisit them occasionally, or to give them out to friends or family if a need to arises.

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Other times, however, there’s a need to dispose of them or donate them to prevent them from merely collecting dust. At such points, instead of tossing the books, the vital information within them, and the dollars behind them, there are better ways to get rid of them and also derive benefits at the same time.

That said, below are some efficient ways to get more out of your old books.

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1. Use book buyback services

Book buyback services offer the ability to get rid of old books and still derive benefits; these services buy used books and resell them to low income earners or to industries that recycle papers for various purposes.

This remains the most lucrative way of getting rid of used books. The only problem, however, could be finding a reliable vendor who would offer a decent price. Platforms like BookScouter or Amazon are built to solve this problem, as they serve as an extension to connect you, the seller, with reliable vendors.

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2. Creative DIY home crafts

On the other end, however, the used books occupying your shelf might be a little outdated, and may even lack an ISBN number. In such cases, book buyback services might not be the perfect option.

Instead, consider turning them into unique and attractive home tools that’ll leave friends and family in awe.

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Below are few options to consider:

  • A book clockWith a little effort and inexpensive kits, you can start keeping track of time in style by turning your once favorite book into a sophisticated modern day clock; the only problem: Be ready to provide answers on the “how-to” when friends inquire about it.
  • Books lamp standMaybe all you ever wanted is to be unique. Well, consider piling up a bunch of old books in an attractive manner after which a lamp will be mounted on the top. Now you can start illuminating darkness, and uniquely, too.
  • Book safeCreate a new home for your treasures where no one will ever imagine to look for them. Reach for a used textbook (a large textbook will be more effective) and make a neat hollow space within. Afterward, you can neatly place your treasured possessions within and lay back with no worries — who would randomly search for stuff in a textbook?
  • iPhone charging dockHow cool to know that your regular charger can be instantly turned into an amazing doc stand with the help of used books? Without spending a dime, just a little touch here and there, and you have your fancy doc stand.

3. Use for decorations and fashion

Arts may not really be your thing, or you might not really fancy any of the above DIY crafts. However, who wouldn’t like a little touch of attractive decorations in their home or office? Your old books can become handy here.

Below are some interesting decorative projects you should consider working on with your used books:

  • Book picture frameWith your old books, you can turn your memorable moments into a place to explore for your friends and guests. It’s time to use your old books to create new memories.
  • Blackout poetry: With some pages from a used book, you can take a pencil and underline words or phrases as you stumble through the book. Afterward, use a dark ink to strike out the unwanted words. Assemble the pages in a journal or a smaller book and you just created an inexpensive, awesome piece of poetry your friends would be delighted to receive as a gift. You can also place them on the walls as a decorative piece.
  • Paper necklace: Perhaps you have a quote from your favorite author. Consider cutting out the piece neatly. Afterwards, enclose them within a beautiful glass pendant. Friends and family will be amazed at your creativity.

Do you have any other ideas on how to get more from your old books? I’d be happy to hear your views.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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