Readers’ Digest Condensed Books – They were published for 47 years (before being rebranded) and it has been estimated that about 10 million copies were sold per year. That’s a lot of books that are still living in boxes in the attic or displaying a pleasing shelf full of books with similar spines!
The current value of these books, however, seems to be about $0. They are not rare and the fact that the stories are condensed reduces the value to today’s readers.
What should I do with a box of Reader’s Digest Condensed books?
– Make Door Stops…
– Just don’t leave two of them alone in a box in a dark room or you end up with a whole ‘litter’ of them.
I recently inherited a box of these books from a relative who knew I was not adverse to ‘mutilating’ books. I thought I would try making them into Book Pumpkins. There are quite a few sites on the web that tell you how to do this. Usually they say you cut the pumpkin shape with scissors but I found that quite time consuming and not so kind to arthritic fingers. A better tool, for me, was The Car Guys Scroll Saw!
Here are the my instructions for this project. For more detailed photos, see the photos below.
Trace and Cut: I traced a half pumpkin shape on the book cover, cut the shape out with a scroll saw, then took the cover off.
Prepare the Spine: I removed some of the binding material off the spine to make it more flexible.
Make the Center of the Pumpkin: I cut a piece of dowel that was a few inches longer than the height of the spine and the right diameter such that the spine would wrap around it. The front and back edges of the spine should meet.
Hot Glue – OUCH: I hot glued the spine around the dowel, leaving about an inch of dowel above and below the spine.
Make the Base for the Pumpkin and Spray Paint: The Car Guy cut a circle from some scrap lumber. He drilled a hole in the middle of this base. The hole was slightly larger than the diameter of the dowel. We mounted the bottom piece of the dowel into the circle, leaving a slight gap between the top surface of the circle and the pages of the book. This leaves the pages free to fan out nicely. I spray painted my pumpkins with Rust-oleum Hammered Copper.
Make a Pumpkin Stem and Decorate: I used a piece of tree branch that was a larger diameter than the dowel. I cut the branch into ‘stem’ lengths and drilled a hole in each that was slightly larger than the dowel. Then I glued the stems onto the dowel, making sure the pages were still free to fan out unhindered. I decorated the pumpkins with wood shavings and crinkly paper.
Do tell – how many Reader’s Digest Condensed Books do you have on your book shelves!