Monday, September 11, 2017

Book Hacks

I know what you must be thinking.
What, by all that is sane, are book hacks?
(Firstly, you assumed sanity. Shame on you. Secondly, allow me to explain.)
I've been a bookworm for a long time. And I've learned a lot of things. Not just about reading books, but storing them, using them, buying them, even remembering them.
If you are a bookworm too, you might know some of these. But most of them I thought on my own, so I just wanted to share.
Basically A Post For Random Tips And Tricks Related to Books.

Buying New Books:
When you happen to go to a new book store (somewhere like Barnes & Noble that is NOT a used store) and you see a book you want, STOP RIGHT THERE. Immediately look the book up on Amazon. Chances are, it's going to be way cheaper. Go home and order the book, and you'll thank yourself for saving the money later.
Needless to say, new books are overpriced.

How to Remember What You Think of a Book:
Do you ever have trouble remembering which of your books you liked? Or say you just finished a book, and it's really good, but you don't feel like writing a whole review online (or don't have enough thoughts to do so)? How are you going to remember what you think of it?
I have a method for this. As soon as you are finished with the book (if it belongs to you), get a little sticky note and write 1 or 2 sentences about it, and how you like it or dislike it.
Something like:
"Not my favorite story. It had some good parts [insert a few page numbers here, perhaps], but most of the time I was bored. 2/5 stars."
"Probably one of my favorite books! The writing was good, the plot was twisty and amazing, and I was falling in love with the characters. Would recommend to anyone! 5/5 stars."
Put the sticky note on the inside cover, and you have an easy reference that you can glance at.
This also helps if a friend asks you if you have any books to recommend, you can just glace at your sticky notes instead of searching around online to find a review. 

How to Cover up a Swear Word in a Book (Without Damaging the Pages!):
I used this method of covering up cuss words in The Book Thief (if you've read that one, you know what i'm talking about). Some people like to just mark it out with a Sharpie, but that bleeds onto the other side of the page and makes the book all messy!
And if you are marking out for children, a Sharpie won't work because they can easily hold the page up to the light and see what you marked out.
But I figured out this method so that NO ONE can see what you marked out.
I'll put it in steps to make it easier.
1. Take a regular ink pen and scribble over the language.
2. Cut a small strip of Scotch tape the size of the marked out spot, and place it over the scribbles.
3. Take a Sharpie marker, and make little dots ON TOP OF THE TAPE STRIP that you have placed on the page.
No one will be able to read through it, and because you put the tape down first, the Sharpie won't bleed through and ruin the page. 

When You're Out of Shelf Space But You Can't Afford Another Shelf:
Don't panic if your shelf is full and there's nowhere else to put your books. The solution is quite simple, really. Just decorate your room or space with them.
Is there a vase on top of your bookshelf? Put a stack of 4 or 5 books underneath to give it some lift. I also keep stacks underneath my alarm clock, on top of a vintage hat box on my vanity, and I even put some on top of my shelf, under a wooden birdhouse. Just be creative, and don't worry about buying a new shelf (of course, if you can find a cheap on at the thrift store in good condition, by all means, buy it).

Don't Get Rid of Books You Hate:
Suppose someone gave you a book (they were trying to be nice and all), but you HATE IT (yes, I hate some books too...)? What do you do? You COULD give it away, or you could use/recycle it!
Even books that are in bad condition can be used for all sorts of crafts!
Here are a few of my favorites:
  • Paper roll-up flowers
  • You could Mod Podge the book pages onto anything: A box, the side of your shelf, your wall even.
  • Cardmaking
  • Scrapbooking
  • Paper dolls! Bring 'em back from the Little House on the Prairie days!
  • Art- you could draw or paint something (such as a rose) over the words on the pages and make a really neat mixed media collage
  • Bookmarks - just cut a book page into a rectangle, put a ribbon at the top and you're good to go! 
  • Birdcage lining (if you have a bird)
  • Here's something random: If you're the type of person who likes to make gift baskets, you could make a book-themed basket, and use shredded book pages for filling
  • And lots of other crafts!
Thrift Shoppers: Don't Ever Leave a Thrift Store Without Checking the Book Section!
Used books at the thrift store are usually super cheap, and I have found early edition books as well as brand new books at super-low prices at lots of different thrift stores! At one place I like go, their books are 15 cents AN INCH. I got a ton of books last time for like $1.00.
Just because a book might be used, doesn't mean that you will not enjoy it. Chances are the person who gave their books to the used store just finished them and wanted to pass them on. They are not necessarily bad books.

How to Remember Who You Lend Your Books to:
I've seen this hack on Pinterest before, but for those of you who haven't, a good way to remember who is borrowing what books (or even movies) from you is to take a picture of the borrower holding the item you are loaning them. Every time you see the picture, you'll be reminded that they have your book or movie (or whatever). It's a great reminder, especially when you're sorting through your phone pictures months later and you realize they haven't returned it yet. 

When Reading A Book: Give Every Book The 'Two 'Chapter Test':
I think it's fair enough to say that not every good book has a great beginning. Some books start off downright boring. This is how I felt about Elizabeth George Speare's books. I don't think her books start off very well. But I couldn't close her books just because I don't like the beginning, because the rest of the book is great!
That's why I give every book I read what I call the 'two chapter test'. It basically means 'don't give up on a book until you've read at least two chapters', because that gives the book a chance to redeem itself. It might be a good book, after all.
If the story still hasn't interested you by the time you've given it two chapters, chances are the entire book is the same.

Photo Credit: ME
Well, that's all I have for today. I have used these hacks a lot since I started reading (which has been almost forever), so I wanted to share, and hopefully you got something out of it!
Happy reading!
(Or crafting. Or book shopping. Or recycling. Or decorating. You know.)


  1. Now that I have realized that you post every Monday, I am able to read the post as soon as possible. :) Thanks for telling me.
    As much as I love movie reviews, updates, random interest posts, etc, the bookish posts are by far my favorite. :) I loved this one. Almost as much as I love my copy of the Book Thief. Almost. ;)

    1. Diana:
      Yes, I try to post on Mondays. There might be a monday or two that I miss, as I am a fallible human being, but I'm trying to keep with the schedule. :)
      Yes, I love writing the bookish posts. :) They are so fun.
      :D :D :D
      Thanks for commenting, dear friend!

  2. "(Firstly, you assumed sanity. Shame on you. Secondly, allow me to explain.)" Mwhahaha. You're hilarious. :D

    This was such a fun post to read. I really enjoyed it. The sticky notes suggestion is a cool idea. And the "two chapter test" is excellent. Some books really are hard to get into at first, but it certainly would be a shame to give up to soon because like you said "the rest of the book is great!" Thanks for the reminder. :)

    ~Miss March

    1. Miss March:
      Hahah thank you. :) I try.
      I'm glad you liked the post! I enjoy writing book-related posts. ;)
      I always ALWAYS use the two chapter test, even when I don't use some of the other tips. That one is the one I always do. Some books just need to be given an extra bit of a chance!

  3. These are great! I especially like the ones about storing books when you run out of shelf space and reusing books you own but don't like.

    1. Thank you, Elanor!
      Yes, the "decorating with books" tip saved me, because I had NO money for a shelf awhile ago, so I had to improvise! Now I don't even WANT a shelf anymore, much less need one.
      Plus, I don't think I have room for one right now. :P
      But anyways, thanks for commenting!

  4. I LOVE the sticky note idea!

  5. From a fellow bookworm, I LOVE LOVE this post!! I especially love the tip about putting sticky notes in a book for you to remember and "rate" the book!!

    1. Great! I'm so glad you liked the post. :D
      Thank you!


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