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Lauren Conrad removes book-destroying DIY video after backlash

Aug. 16, 2012 at 5:08 PM ET

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In a deleted YouTube video, reality-TV star Lauren Conrad demonstrates how to use books for a DIY project. The video was heavily criticized online, with Buzzfeed likening it to the "murder" of books.

Reality TV star Lauren Conrad, previously of MTV's “The Hills” and “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County,” is also a bit of a DIY-er... or she was. Her DIY chops have been called into question today after she deleted a YouTube video that depicted her destroying books and turning their spines into decorative accents on the side of a storage container.

Conrad, 26, called the project a “beautiful way to showcase vintage books,” even though they are shown without their stories inside them.

The internet stratosphere was quick to respond to Conrad’s project. The website Buzzfeed compared watching the video to witnessing a murder and called Conrad’s turn at DIY the “worst craft idea ever.” 

One Buzzfeed commenter said of the project, "Better idea: PUT THEM ON A BOOKSHELF," and another commented, "She just killed nine amazing works of literature."

In Conrad’s video, she doesn’t use her own book, "L.A. Candy," to decorate the box, instead opting to use classics, like "A Series of Unfortunate Events" by Lemony Snicket.

“Brand-new Lemony Snicket books are not vintage,” said book blogger Jennifer Worick of thingsiwanttopunchintheface.blogspot.com. “She could have used damaged books if she wanted to create this and give them new life.” 

Slate reached author Lemony Snicket regarding Conrad's video and he responded with the comment, "It has always been my belief that people who spend too much time with my work end up as lost souls, drained of reason, who lead lives of raving emptiness and occasional lunatic violence. What a relief it is to see this documented."

To Worick, Conrad’s project “celebrated the art of not reading... she should have used her own books.”

(TODAY.com reached out to Lauren Conrad's representative but has not yet heard back.)

To some, repurposing items is simply a part of recycling. DIY style expert Erica Domesek of the popular craft blog P.S. I Made This thinks Conrad should be celebrated for embracing DIY. As Domesek sees it, it is better to repurpose items rather than buy new ones and Conrad's project can be used to breathe new life into old books.

Domesek said, “I am a big believer of reinventing and reusing material. Sometimes we do things for fashion, and if it loses its function and you can use it I'm all for it.” 

TODAY has also featured ways to repurpose items, showing viewers a way to turn old, worn-out books into an iPhone stand.

Domesek called Conrad’s idea “clever,” but stressed that it may not be best to use new books. She said she often combs vintage flea markets for materials, which would be a great place to get books for this project as those books often come with water damage or ripped pages.

Until the Conrad controversy calms down, it may be best for those old books to look for cover. If the words “Fahrenheit 451” don’t mean anything to them, the words “Lauren Conrad” will.

What do you think of Lauren Conrad's DIY project? Let us know!

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