Friday, February 26, 2010

Where Have All The Good Books Gone?

From a very young age, I've been a voracious reader; teaching myself to read at the age of 4, once my older brother headed off to school. Seeing he brought home the books to kick off my reading passion, I didn't see the harm in finding out what was so interesting about reading. My parents enjoyed it and so did a lot of adults; so why shouldn't I?
As I grew older - and I found out about the Springwood Library up the road - I got myself a Library Card and became a regular reader. My parents were proud then; and they are proud of me now that I have such a extensive collection to choose from. It's just how things are. In my life, there's nothing better than a book to keep me company, no matter how sick I am, what the weather, if there's anything on t.v. or the radio... I love reading books.

However, recently, I found out what can occur when a school culls books from their library to update them and the culled books are sent off. A friend of mine has been working in a large warehouse for a while and his company decided to have a big clean-up; and they found a pallet of primary school books in boxes that were supposed to have been gotten rid of. What happened to them was that they were stored and forgotten. Inside all 18 boxes were all kinds of books from whole series of 'Learn to Read' books to non-fictions about stars. I couldn't just leave them in the back of my friend's ute. So I took them off his hands and sorted through them; picking and choosing which ones I can register on Bookcrossing and what could go to a charity. It took me 2 hours to go through them (with a break for dinner) and that included me carrying the ones I wanted to keep up to the office.

Today, Dad and I took the books for the charity off to Endos on Wembley Road. They were ecstatic to have received so many books for nothing; and they were all educational books too! I was hoping they'd take them off my hands. One of the ladies recognised me as 'the nice lady' and Dad was surprised I was known. I said that Mum and I both well-known there seeing this is where we bring our charity items each time we clean out our houses.

But it really got me thinking about what happens to the out-of-date books that do get culled from any library - not only school libraries. Are they stored in warehouses all over? Are they shredded? Are they sent to other places because they badly need books (which they shouldn't be because the information is out-of-date and won't do anything but misinform the students)? What happens to the books that we have discovered and read from our past; the ones we learnt to read by, we remember fondly escaping into again and again? I've always wondered about it; and did so again when I went through these books last night as I wondered where they will end up in the end.

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