The Bookworm's Guide To The Lifehacker Galaxy

It may not have the words "DON'T PANIC" inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover, but our Bookworm's Guide to the Lifehacker Galaxy is a compilation of some of our favourite book-related hacks, projects and tricks, as part of our Book Week 2009 series.

Photo by Ian Wilson

What to Read... What to Read...

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On some days it's tough to decide what to read. For the younger ones, it's easy to find reading lists, but what about the rest of us?

There's WhichBook, which makes suggestions based on what you're in the mood for. Do you want a disturbing yet down-to-earth-story? Or something short and unusual? Just move a series of sliders around and WhichBook does the rest.

And sure, you can discover books based on ones you've just read and loved, but then again, you can try LibraryThing's Unsuggester to get book recommendations based on what you've disliked.

DIY Through and Through

You're the DIY type and want to make your own book rather than buying one? No worries; you've got plenty of options, whether you want to print public domain books or the novel you wrote (heck, you can even turn your blog into a book).

Go nuts and bind your own paperbacks (in as little as five minutes even) or reuse that old office paper for your DIY masterpiece.

Turn Old Books Into Furniture, Clocks and Hiding Places

It can be tough to part with old books. I once worked in a bookstore, and every time an order came from the corporate office to toss out certain books, I got a little bit teary-eyed. But if you're willing to sacrifice the occasional hardback, we've featured plenty of ways to reuse old books—such as turning them into a bar (though you'll need about 700 or so books for that). If you want to go a step further, you could even deck out that book bar with some invisible book speakers and extra book furniture (and even vases).

If you've only got one or two books to send to their doom, give them new life as clocks, iPod carriers, or secret hiding places.

Repair Your Old and Beloved Books

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Who are we kidding, though, some books are just way too special to send to the repurposing bin. For those books that have a special meaning for you, consider repairing them once they hit old age.

DIY Book Storage and Shelving Solutions

Now that you've tossed out the old books, given them new life, or turned them into something new, you may as well make the piles of books you've got left look more appealing. Try something like this DIY invisible book shelf, for example. For a quick and dirty solution, you could also turn a wire hanger into a book or magazine rack.

If you'd rather keep your books on a regular shelf instead of lining the walls, try making some DIY CD-case bookends. They're slim, tidy and cheap.

Get Your cks Books In a Row

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Keeping track of your favourite reads can get difficult quickly. Thankfully applications such as Books (Mac OS X only), Tellico (Linux only) or BookBump are there to help. All three are intuitive and so simple to use that you could run your own library.

Oh, and if you decide to free your books from the confines of your home, you can still keep track of them with BookCrossing.

Read Like A True Lifehacker

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Everything's organised on your shelves, but there's still the matter of improving how you actually read these things. First step: Maybe you want to learn to double your reading speed—or if time's an issue but you don't want to speed up your reading, take the lazy route by finding quick reads.

While you're reading, you can keep your place(s) with a multi-threaded bookmark (if you're looking for something that looks less kinky, try DIY magnetic bookmarks).

WATCH MORE: Tech News & Life Hacks

Comments

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