Well, the movie has been out for a while now, making the rounds in front of the loathing and loving alike, but one thing that’s for sure: it’s certainly in breach of social etiquette to still own a copy of the book. I don’t care if you’ve had it since you were twelve, the time has come. Worry not, however, because herein lies a list of ways to dispose of your now painfully uncool hard copy.
1. Donate it to a child in a country that doesn’t have cinemas.
If you ship it out to a boy in Rwanda, Tanzania or perhaps Uganda, he’ll be able to flout his fancy new book in front of all of his fellow impoverished children, with none of them thinking of him as a massive tool, because none of them will know about the movie. There’s a good chance he won’t be able to read any of it; but then after seeing that film, I doubt you will either. Warning: Make sure it’s not a ‘Now a Major Motion Picture‘ version, because those have about the same cool rating as yellow trousers, and even pre-teen Africans will understand that.
2. Scrap it for parts.
If it’s a hardback, you can tear off the cover and make a nice little hand held fan for yourself, or even a fold-away frisbee to play fetch with your dog. The ripped up pages will come in handy if you need extra letters for writing ransom notes and death threats; or alternatively, you could just turn the whole lot into a pile of cheap, convenient cat litter. Hey, it wouldn’t be the first time someone shits all over Tolkien’s work, right?
3. Turn it into a useful household accessory.
The applications for this one are only limited by your imagination and/or respect for the staple masterpiece of fantasy literature that it once was. A handy under-the-toilet foot rest to make sure that your legs are at the correct over-horizontal level for healthy defecation, perhaps? You might like to tie it to a string and let it be a scratching toy for your pets, or use it a beater to bash dust and fluff out of sofa cushions. Maybe you could apply it as a reinforced doorstop and keep the world out of your home so that you never again have to hear about your favourite books being ruined by greedy lizard people.
4. Come up with fun, inventive ways of destroying it.
This one’s quite self explanatory. How about imagining it’s a live grenade that you have to hurl as far away from yourself as possible? Pretend that it’s ‘the one ring’, and needs to be hurriedly cast into your fireplace, or that it’s that giant bird thing and you have to quickly set it free out of a very, very high window. If you want to get really nerdy, you could even take it to one of your Live Action Role Playing Game adventures and use it as a shield, making sure to start sword fights with everyone you meet.
5. Gather a few copies and race your friends to orally consume it.
This can be done a number of ways, depending on whether or not you consider the use of a blender to be in the spirit of the game. In any case, a competition can be held, and the book bit by bit consumed, until all that remains is the empty space where it once was; and also, a stomach ache, diarrhoea, and possibly some internal injuries. Side note: Paperback copies would be most appropriate for this suggestion; and also, for the hardcore fanatics, try melting shards of pages on a spoon and injecting the novella straight into your blood stream.
6. Use it as a prop to convey a point.
If you have friends over, you can make yourself seem passionate and intellectual by ranting about how the film industry is distorting the original messages of some of the finest works of British literature, and hold it up as an example. Also, appropriation for this application is interchangeable with copies of The Picture of Dorian Gray, Robin Hood, Alice in Wonderland, all of the Sherlock Holmes stories, and, apparently, any thing else that the original writers are too dead to protect.
… and that’s all, folks!
There you have it; crisis averted. You no longer need look over your shoulder when guests are around, perspiring at the thought of them catching sight of it and thinking of you as one of those tediously banal people who see the film and then immediately run out to buy the original, simply to await the day when they can use the phrase ‘To be honest, I actually thought the book was much better.’, because no one likes them… not even people in yellow trousers.