Breaking Heavy Textbooks in to Smaller Books for Easy Carrying.





Introduction: Breaking Heavy Textbooks in to Smaller Books for Easy Carrying.

About: I live in the south Bronx with my husband and two cats. I teach math at Hunter College in New York City.

Teachers and students rejoice! If you have ever resented lugging a heavy back-breaking textbook around campus when all you really needed were a few dozen pages in said book this instructable is for you. You will turn a large text book into smaller individually bound mini-books that fit inside of the big book.

Step 1: Tear the Book in to Sections.

(Bibliophiles will have trouble with this step.) It's not recommended for older books as they may crack, but most modern textbooks are held together by glue. When you rip sections out of the book take care not to tear the pages. You also will want to start and end your sections on a chapter break. You will want about 120-300 pages per section, less will be too floppy... more will be too heavy.

Step 2: Make a Cardstock Cover for Each Section.

Cut 2 cardstock pieces to the same size as each of your torn-out sections. You might want to put the cardstock through a printer first to create a cover with the name of the textbook and chapters included in that section. 

Step 3: Bind and Tape the Section.

Using "bookbinding tape" bind the covers on to each section. Use some double-sided scrapbook tape on the first and last pages to hold the cover in place. (see image)

Step 4: Enjoy Taking Only the Sections You Need to Class!

Now you can take only the sections you need to class. You can store the sections you are not using in the book cover. A large rubber-band is useful for holding them all in place.

Thanks for reading this instructable!



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25 Discussions

This is very cool idea really. I remember those times - carrying half a ton on my beck. Hated that.

Having taken the book apart, I would scan it into .jpg or .pdf format, and carry it around in my android tablet. Leave the heavy tome at home.

the only problem I see is when you want to sell the book back so you can afford groceries when you are a poor college student... So I guess I'll be poor and tired from lugging all my books around... HA HA HA Great Instructable Very Clear. Maybe explain the binding tape step a little more though.

1 reply

You can just re-bind the book after the year is over.

That would soooo help with my Alg II/Trig book but my books are borrowed from the school (high school) guess that's one good reason to buy books...
You can still probably sell the books for more than the whole if you can convince them that the lighter separate weights is worth a torn book

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You can just re-bind the book after the year is over.

Why didn't I think of that BEFORE breaking my back caring my med surg books! YOU ARE AWESOME DUDE!!!

You couldn't sell them back to a book store. But you could still get maximum value out of them by selling them directly to another student.

In fact, if it was a nicely done job, I would buy a broken-book over one that's complete. Although I probably wouldn't pay more for it.

Great idea, but the problem is you will not be able to sell it back. In another words, you just lost $100+ value of the textbook.

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I'm a prof. I get my books for free and never sell them since I will teach the course again! :D

very cool....keep the backpack light

Hey... really nice! Tks!!! It works excelent. - Lau from Costa Rica!

I use to work as Alternative Media specialist for disable services, one of the things I use to do in order to scan student text books for conversion into braille, audio, etc was to walk all the books over to the copy center and have the binding cut off. Pretty much a blade drops down under pressure to cut the whole thing at once for nice clean edges. I believe most Kinkos would have that ability. I would even have them punch holes for use with plastic spiral binders. I ordered in bulk, so most students wanted thiers divided into individual chapters, which so they wouldn't have to lug around so many books.

As a side note, back in college, my professor had us cut up the same calculus book in this instructable! (it didnt improve my grades lol)

This sounds like an awesome idea! I was trying to do this to one of my textbooks, but I am having a little trouble tearing to cover from the first section. Would you recommend using an exacto knife, or would another method be better?

When I was traveling I did this to a few paperback books. Segmenting them made it easier to pack and I would ditch the sections I'd already read. Yes, I destroyed the book, but it was rather popular and I'm sure the world had more than enough copies to make up for it. I also didn't want to carry a few pounds of paper I'd already read.

This was also handy for travel guides. Why carry all the sections of places you'll never go to?

Wow, I buy my summer textbooks tomorrow, so you posted this just in time! It will kill the resell value at the school bookstore, but will probably increase online resell value. Even if it doesn't, not having to carry around a giant book is worth it. Wish I had known about this before business law when the book was, no joke, 7 in. thick!

 I wonder if you could buy these anywhere, or if anyone would buy them from you

I could imagine this being done with velcro strips on the inside of the spine of the larger book, and velcro on the outside of the smaller books.