of no fixed subtitle
August 31, 2004
Got books? Don't want 'em? Others do!
Adopt a library!
17 years ago
excellent - thanks SideDish! I was just about to clean out the ol' bookshelf . . .
Well, perhaps this will inspire me to do some overdue pruning of the shelves, too. Thanks, SideDish.
Great idea, dunno why I never thought of it. Thanks for the resource!
The "keep books out of landfills" surprised me - do people actually
throw books away
? Do they mean text books and things like that? Anyway: another thing to do with your spare books is
(which is just really fun, I think). And if you have any spare cash and a yen to help out a library, many (many many many)(particularly US) libraries have
Amazon wish lists
ilyadeux - you had better believe it. Libraries (of all things) throw books away. My mum rescued two c1870 volumes, one on Captain Cook's voyages around the Pacific, the other on travels (I think) in Africa. Both needed to have their covers mended but apart from that they were fine, text, images and all. And these had been tossed for landfill. From a library.
do people actually throw books away?
Yes, unfortunately. As polychrome mentions, even libraries do it. The problem is too many books and not enough demand, or books that are worn out from use. I've personally recycled tons of books in my work: after the best ones are sold, the second-best put on clearance, and the third-best donated, there are always far too many volumes left over, and they have to go out the door one way or another. Before everyone goes into shock, remember that the vast majority of unsold books are paperback bestsellers and romances. Oh, and old textbooks and encyclopaedias. The good stuff will always sell, even in poor condition. My city recycles, so the books get made into newspaper. Otherwise they would end up in landfills.
oh yes, the weeding of libraries could be an entire thread on its own.
here are the guidelines for one.
doesn't that sound cruel? but necessary, i guess.
Which is why it was such a shock to find the two volumes I mentioned zedediah. You'd think it was common knowledge that these were worth something (the lithographs _alone_ are worth enough each to make these $1000+ volumes, though I despise that vandalistic process) but, I ugess not.
The local refuse transfer (pfft) company separates the good stuff out of people's rubbish and sells it off again at a place called the Supershed. They have rows and rows and rows of discarded books. polychrome, that is really incredible. I can't believe librarians would be that thick.
I could never throw a book away. Well, perhaps I am a bit hasty, I have thrown away romance novels, but I really don't consider romance novels legitimate reading. Oh and btw the link doesn't work for me, so I didn't get to see what SideDish posted. Wish I could though.
well, shucks, bratcat, both work for me. here, try the always amusing technique of cutting-and-pasting: http://www.adoptalibrary.org
Why, thank you SideDish. I also think the Bookcrossing.com idea is an excellent idea.
Small country town tracicle. All the stereotypes are true. *sigh* I wonder which stereotype I am.
hmm..interesting. I know one of the largest used book chains in Canada sends all of their 'unsellables' to the Phillipines by container ship to be sold to English-language schools there. I thought that was commercially ingenious but dreadful for the students. I can only imagine what kind of dreck they must cut their teeth with.
Weeding is absolutely necessary to most libraries due to space restrictions and underfunding (at least in the US, and I would think worldwide. Libraries aren't great revenue generators). The principle of holdings is to carry and offer what patrons demand. That may not be a gorgeous, historically important book. Wholesale tossing of volumes was totally deplored when San Francisco got a new main library building (Nicholson Baker was irate about
, but he was very pissed off about the dumping of volumes in general. Tons of people were.) But if the library doesn't have room or appropriate storage (old volumes require care), and the patrons are more interested in newer titles and other materials, the unused stuff has to get tossed. It's pragmatic and really unpleasant.
there's a guy out there, somewhere (sorry, don't have time to google him) that is attempting to gather old newspapers. libraries are tossing the originals as soon as they are microfilmed. we're losing an entire form of media! sigh.
, author of
U and I
yeah, PF, thanks! that's him. i thought he had a web site for his quest but i can't find it. hmm.
See my post immediately preceding yours, SideDish. He had a fairly public argument in the mid-nineties with the head librarian in San Francisco - I think he was professoring in Berkeley at the time. The SF Chronicle carried what seemed like tirades. But he was more concerned with wholesale weeding than with preserving newspapers. I'm not sure if this is what first got him fired up about retention policies.