Where Do Books Go When They Die?

No one likes to think about unwanted books. We’re focused on earlier phases: Making them. Writing them. Choosing them. Selling them. With all of that in our minds and hearts, dead books is the last thing on our minds. It has to be. But all of life is a cycle and, as it turns out, that’s just as true for books as it is for everything else.

When Dalhousie University in Halifax found itself with 50,000-plus unwanted volumes costing them over $12,000 per year to store, for a while it seemed like an impossible task to get rid of them. Enter David Cameron, a builder from Lunenberg county in Nova Scotia who has found uses for old books that range from building to art.

The Coast looks at Cameron’s innovative solutions to a new and challenging problem here.

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3 Comments

  1. Wonderful solution.
    This reminds me of a passage from Gloria Steinem's powerful biography, "Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellion." In it, she describes a childhood of extreme poverty, and making chairs for her mother and sister to sit on. They used stacks of old newspapers. There was simply nothing else available to them.

  2. There's always a good use for something, if one is creative enough! Weeding and disposition can be the hardest thing for a book lover…I helped with a disposition project in high school and it felt like book murder to rip them half :S

  3. At one stage, I was getting "donations" I didn't want, totally unsuited for my library or useless, such as old textbooks the donor no longer used in class. I threw them out or told the donor to do so. But the library assistant loved Jackie Collins and the battered, torn book about Elvis was removed from the bin by the cleaning lady, who was enough of a fan not to mind that the book was falling apart. 50,000, though- woah!

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