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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On the other end, however, the used books occupying your shelf might be a little outdated, and may even lack an ISBN number.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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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