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The Book of Scented Things by Jehanne Dubrow

The Book of Scented Things

by Jehanne Dubrow

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10 December 2011

Have yourself a bookish little Christmas

I have come across a few neat alternative Christmas tree ideas in my web wanderings over the past week or two, but there was only one that really caught my interest. And let me add: I am not really one to decorate my house for the holidays. Growing up, it was great fun and I've always loved the cozy, warm ambiance it creates. But as an adult, I really don't have the energy or inclination to drag out a bunch of seasonal decorations every year, assemble it all, plug it in for a month, and then tear it all back down. All that for just me and the cats and the dog? I can hardly bring myself to sweep the floors once every couple months. But a Christmas tree made out of books? (or this one!) That's a project for me. 

So, while working a slowish afternoon at the library, I scanned through the shelves of discarded and donated books, and grabbed all the green-covered ones I could find, in various sizes, plus a tiny one (color unimportant) for the tippy-top. I even managed to collect some green books with actual Christmas-ey titles. I decided to build a tree that was a combination/variation of the two shown in the previous links. After brushing glue on the outsides of the textblocks to keep the tree sturdy and together, I stacked the books in order of size, catty-cornering them to create that impression of layers of foliage. Then I shot hot glue between each book (I used a decorative box I had laying around as the trunk). 

Then for the final touch, I took the tiny book I had snagged earlier and splayed open its pages until they created the triangle shape I wanted, and hot-glued it in place at the top of the tree. I also thought the title of the book was perfect for the treetop: The Little Book of Magic Tricks! I am quite satisfied with the final result and decided it would look perfect on top of my gorgeous card catalog (genuine vintage library artifact). I was right. Now I'm beginning to feel a bit more festive.


  1. Ha! I donated 'The Outer Banks of NC" (& possibly some of the older, unreadable-in-this-photo ones near the top of your tree). A firm believer in reusing, recycling, ridiculousness, & returning-to-from-whence-we-came, I'm happy to see that all that processed, inked wood pulp still has some vestigial memory of its arboreal origins & is providing new climbing apparatus for your felines.

  2. That's so funny, Stu! Such a small town, right? I'm all about repurposing things too. It's so much fun. Thanks for the contribution to my first book sculpture! I can't believe the irony of tree-made-of-books didn't occur to me before you mentioned it!

  3. Suddenly there are book trees everywhere I look: http://unconsumption.tumblr.com/post/14013695212/books-christmas-trees-do-you-remember-our

    Clearly you are riding the cresting wave of a hot trend. ;)

  4. The way people learn and enjoy and retain knowledge is with a tactile object. So many people are visual that when they remember a favorite story or a favorite moment, they can actually picture that page, that picture, the feel of the paper, the font— it's a piece of art. Books are a piece of art and they're never going away. They're always going to be amazing gifts and amazing friends. They are so great to share and reuse. http://youtu.be/cY3qY3kCwZo