The Make Magazine blog has a post up today about the book sculptures of a guy named Tim Baker, who is also a makeup artist (check out the gruesome pics on his site). This got me thinking about books as physical objects, and the uses to which they're put. I for one use books in my home studio as sound diffusing material--I mean, why pay hundred of dollars for these when you've already got the equivalent lying around the house?
You could check this out, too, some bookshelves made out of books. Here's a guy who made the world's largest book, and if it's tiny books you're after, you could join the Miniature Book Society. I'm also reminded of Tom Phillips' book A Humument, which was created by selectively obliterating, in various artistically compelling ways, some of the words of an already published book.
Finally, here's an article about a sculpture, commissioned by Cornell, the college where I teach, that's made entirely of faculty publications. I missed the boat on that one, but I must confess that I have quite a few such "sculptures" all over my office just now.
If you've seen some good extra-literary uses for books, post a link in the comments.