We all have old books doing nothing but gathering dust somewhere in our homes. I have a couple I've chopped up for use as laptop stands, with about a boxful more rotting from years of utter apathy. If you're the same way, you might want to look at the Book Lamp, a DIY project that lets you turn an old, unloved book into a decorative shelf lighting fixture.
Created by Ed Lewis (nee fungus amungus in Instructables), it's quite a simple build. So simple, in fact, that it looks ridiculously ghetto when you check the open book. Once shut and set on a shelf, however, it looks just as stylish as any piece of lighting implement you can imagine showing off at home.
The first time you see the DIY Book Lamp closed, you'd think there was some fancy lighting installed on there. In truth, though, making your own is actually sixth-grade easy. Just carve some pages off a book to fit a light in (you can even make it look like a rat chewed on it, like the original), include a path for a cable to run on, insert the bulb and you're done.
In the case of Ed's build, he used a $5 CFL Lampan from Ikea and an all-appropriate hardcover version of the Illuminatus! Trilogy . For yours, make sure to use either a flourescent or LED bulb, lest risk starting a fire. Unless you like fires because they're awesome. Just sayin'.
You can check out instructions for the Book Lamp at the link below.