I've been gradually becoming a rabid fan of Flea Market Style magazine, and with every new issue I read I find more and more new ideas on how to upcycle and turn inexpensive yard sale, flea market and rummage sale finds into neat things for the home and office. While some of the ideas are of the DIY craft variety, many articles simply tell you how to take an alternative approach to decor by arrangement, or how you can use your antiques or unusual items in a different way (i.e. if you collect old large medicine bottles, why not clean them out and put them to work as wine decanters?)
The magazine's blog, which I've just tracked down, is an ongoing online photo album of fabulous finds. At present they don't have a subsciption option, although you can purchase individual issues by mail (I get my copies at the local grocery store.) There is also not a digital version at present, although I expect that is in the works.
FMS's Winter 2013 issue is so good I've been buying extra copies and handing it out to pals. as it's chock full of some neat ideas on how to show off your thrifty finds and junklove collections (including a really neat way to display some unusual objects as wreaths, which would be cool for the winter holiday season ahead.) One of my favorite articles in the issue involves how to turn unlikely objects into side and end tables, which includes old/unwanted hardcover books (far right side of the pic):
I think the stacking of the books could be more attractively done, and I wouldn't paint it white. Still, the magazine includes instructions on how to make the table of books, and it doesn't require much in the way of supplies. For this project you also don't have to drill through the books, so ideally with a few adjustments to the project you could preserve them in their original condition while having them serve another purpose. If you collect a certain author and turn the books so that the spine titling faces out, it could make a really interesting homage piece, too.