Like a few million other households, we completed our Harry Potter library by picking up our pre-ordered copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows over the weekend. I’m really looking forward to reading the final adventure of my favorite young wizard and his friends. If you’ve finished the book already, don’t tell me about it– I don’t want to know. No spoilers here, please!
Over the next few days, my home improvement projects may suffer a bit while I take time out to read the book, but don’t worry, Dear Reader, I’m already thinking of ways to put the book to use around the house. Just imagine the creative home improvement possibilities for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:
- Wallpaper— Did you know that with 759 pages (379 sheets) measuring 5.75 inches by 9 inches there is enough paper in the new Harry Potter book to wallpaper three 12′ X 15′ rooms with 10′ ceilings? Unfortunately the pages aren’t prepasted. (Buy 2 copies if you want to be able to read the whole book off your walls.)
- Shims— Currently, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is available only in hardcover. That sturdy cardboard cover could supply at least a dozen shims that could be used for installing doors and windows or leveling furniture and appliances.
- Ladder Level— It is dangerous to use an extension ladder if it tilts to one side due to uneven ground. Placing a sturdy item– like the new Harry Potter book– underneath one of the ladder feet can level the ladder and make it more safe to climb. (Though without the magical medicine available to Harry at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy, you’d be as wise as Albus Dumbledore to have an assistant hold the ladder base for you, too.)
- Insulation— Our forebears used sawdust and later cellulose made from newspapers to insulate. In a pinch, finely shredded paper bits of the new Harry Potter book could be used for insulation, but the low R-value and limited volume available from the book make this a pretty desperate option.
- Straight Edge— There are countless times when it is handy to have a straight edge to mark lumber. If you didn’t use the hard cardboard cover for shims, one of them would make a nice straight edge if you don’t need one longer than nine inches.
- Secret Stash— What household doesn’t have a few items best kept hidden? Measuring 5.75″ X 9″ X 2″, the new Harry Potter book is big enough to conceal several pieces of jewelry, a large hip flask, or 30 CDs or DVDs. Just glue the edges of the pages together then use a sharp utility knife to cut out an appropriately-sized cavity from the interior of the pages.
- Door Stop— This one is pretty obvious, but sometimes the simplest ideas are the best ones. Even if your doors have been cut down to accomodate thick 1970’s shag carpet, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows should be tall enough to wedge securely under the door.
That’s far from a comprehensive list, but it should be enough to get your brain thinking creatively about your home improvement projects. At a cover price of $34.99, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is more expensive than a lot of tools I’ve bought, so consider your budget before you rush to the bookstore to buy some designer Harry Potter shims. However, many retailers are discounting the book up to 50% or more during the initial release, so now may be the time to stock up on this versatile home improvement resource.
All of the creative ideas aside, surely the best use for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is as an entertaining diversion from a never-ending list of home improvement chores. That’s a project I know I can finish. Just don’t tell me how it ends!