Book Cover Coffee Table and Trays

by Grace Bonney

Few things are as controversial on D*S as reusing books. Any time we see someone repurpose book covers or spines for a DIY project it seems like the lines are drawn in the sand and people take sides to do battle. I used to cringe and shy away from those debates, but now I welcome them because they feel like one of the few times people step away from the simple act of hitting a thumbs up or thumbs down or heart button to actually talk, argue, express detailed emotion and speak their mind. Discussion always makes me happy and I’m very curious to see how people feel about this table by Brian Gennett.

Inspired by a 70s-era round table, Brian’s coffee table features a Lucite base and a tape made from patterned pieces of vintage book covers. The book pieces are covered in layers of poly acrylic to make them tough and water-resistant and a glass top (for additional protection) can be added. When I first saw this piece I didn’t realize it was made from book pieces until I requested some detailed shots. I love how these formally tossed-aside books were reborn as a beautiful table top as well as trays and other home goods Brian is making and selling on his site. Brian also did some fantastic book cover collage pieces for Hermes’ windows in NYC right now, which you can check out in more detail here. xo, grace

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  • very creative….upcycling and reusing whatever we can is much needed in these times. its nice to see when artists come up with such unique ideas that are not only visually appealing but also helping the environment by reusing items.

  • Usually I am a staunch purist–books are to be loved, honored, etc. But this work is so gorgeous that it is making me reconsider. I don’t know what to do with this new-found nonchalance about destroying books!

  • What are the price points for these? I visited his site and it’s custom order only. Would be nice to see a range $$$? :) these are absolutely devine!!

  • I know I’m going to get so much crap for this as an English teacher, but…

    I have zero problem re-purposing old books into new things. In fact, I recently bought a vintage Nancy Drew book so I could frame just the cover. I’m a monster, I know. ;-)

    My husband has a severe dust mite allergy, and his doctor told him that they love to live inside books…especially old ones. So as much as I would love to have a stockpile of vintage books lying around, I can’t for the sake of my husband’s sanity (and sinuses). I also don’t tend to re-read books, so the few that I have are ones I plan to have for life.

  • I am a passionate lover of books – but there are so many out there that would end up in landfill because they’re garbage fiction, mouldy/mildewed, paper so brittle they can no longer be read, &tc. – to re-use and re-imagine book covers in this way is beyond wonderful. Thank you for sharing this artist’s work!!

  • I am a librarian and am supportive of upcycling books. Not all donations can be integrated into library collections or donated on to charities. Filling landfill is not the greatest option either. A project like this preserves their beauty. So don’t feel guilty, just give them a glorious new life :)