I was raised to cherish books. We should never throw away a book. Gift it, donate it, sell it, shelve it. But one bookstore that fell on hard times threw away books -- a lot of them!
Carmichael Bookstore, in California, according to news reports, recently shut its doors when it couldn’t pay its bills or find employees. The owner tried to even give the books away, but in the end the store went out of business and 100,00 books went into a dumpster. The estimated value of the books was a half-million dollars.
It’s sad enough that a store, particularly a book retailer, went out of business. But how could these books just get tossed aside like the bones from a platter of chicken wings?
One would think they could have told the library or schools or charities to come and claim the books. A volunteer could’ve resold the books online perhaps. Some solution had to be better than just destroying books in such a mass quantity.
However, it’s increasingly getting harder to find places to accept donated books, including libraries that would take them if not for their shelves, then to resell and raise funds for needed materials. The used book is hard to get adopted.
Still, let’s face it. There are tens of millions of financially disadvantaged homes in America. There are millions of people who go all year without reading a single book. Thirty million in the USA are illiterate. Can’t we get books into the hands of those who need them?
We need a book adoption network set up where one can find places or people to donate too-and where those in search of free books can access them more easily.
The 100,000-book holocaust is a terrible story. Let’s never again repeat such destruction of books that could have nurtured, inspired, informed, and enlightened so many people in desperate need.
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Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This
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