With their glossy photos of mouthwatering dishes, cookbooks may be lovely to look at, but fewer and fewer of us are relying on them now that the same recipes are also posted online.

Instead of leaving your favourites to gather dust on the shelf, however, one clever kitchen hack shows you how you can still put them to good use - as a knife rack.

It may sound bizarre, but if you pull this off, it could add a touch of shabby chic style to your kitchen.

The viral image, which has been pinned on Pinterest more than 28,000 times, shows six kitchen knives resting in the pages of four tightly bound hardback novels.

But the blog Home Decor suggests you can also use old cookbooks to create the same effect.

At first, the hack appears to be a kooky way to store your knives while putting those aesthetically-pleasing cookbooks to good use.

But how hygienic is it to store knives in this way?

As there is no way to wash the pages of a book without ruining them, a book may not be the cleanest option for your knives.

And as most cookbooks will be splattered with morsels of sauces and food from previous meals, bacteria could have grown and multiplied on the pages of these books.

In terms of hygiene, a magnetic or stainless steel knife block will keep your knives the cleanest.

But if you're determined to store your knives in the pages of a book, just make sure you disinfect them each time you use them.

Try out the hack

1. Choose four novels or cookbooks that you hardly ever use anymore (more or less depending on how many sharp knives you own)

2. Bind them tightly together using a piece of thick string, winding it around the books several times until they cannot move.

3. Stick knives in between the tightly bound pages of the books, blade first.