Discarding old books, no matter how objectionable they might be (is a book ever completely objectionable?), always tears at my heart-strings. Someone worked for months, maybe even years to write it, someone poured their soul into the illustrations and others possibly thought long and hard about the typeface, the layout and all the other decisions that go into publishing a book. Granted, in the end, it came off of an automated assembly line with probably hundreds of identical copies but, how ever unlikely, what if it happens to be the very last copy in existence?
Then there’s the recycling issue of course: how many trees died to make a run of books? Isn’t there some way it could be reused?
Good news: there is something else you can do with them – many things, as I’ve discovered since I started following some library-related blogs. I’ve posted before on some fantastic book sculpture and now I’ve created a new category called ‘What to Do With Discarded Books’. I’m going to watch for all the creative options. I’m inspired and hope to inspire some student art for installation in my ‘new’ library this year.