I had my eye on some attractively bound Reader's Digest Condensed Books (I have no pity for them) that were in the local library book sale, but wanted a little more space than one book could give me. So I made a box-type purse out of three.
I started by cutting out the attractive endpapers for future use, then coated the text block edges with thinned-down school glue (using wax paper to keep them separate from the covers). Use plenty of weights on the books while they dry or they will warp! I then hollowed out the text blocks, as well as the bottom cover of the top book, both covers of the middle book, and the top cover of the bottom book. I gave the interiors of the text blocks several cots of thinned down glue, then glued them to their respective covers with school glue (leaving the top cover unglued to act as the lid of the purse. E6000 glue was used to glue the stacked books together into a solid block.
The handle is a leather belt with a nice buckle from a thrift store. To get good sharp bends as it wraps around the books, wet it down first and clamp it, then let it dry. E6000 glue holds it in place. You could use rivets to form the handle loop, but I just punched a couple of holes in the leather and used buttons tied together through the holes with string.
As the final touch, I lined it with some stiff cardboard and then the endpapers I had saved aside. Several coats of Future floor polish provide a protective clear finish.
At $4 plus glue it's a fun, inexpensive project!