Here at Recycled Reads, we’ve been busy making upcycled papercrafts out of books that are either damaged or otherwise can’t be sold. A lot of people, especially book lovers, wonder: why destroy books? As a book lover myself, I completely understand this sentiment, and yet, as a librarian, I realize not all books are created equal. For example, there are certain bestsellers like the Da Vinci Code that we see come through in donations all the time. If we tried to keep all the copies of one book, we wouldn’t have room for any other titles! There are so many books out there that deserve to be preserved and passed on to others to read, but for those books that have millions of copies – enough to fill a warehouse – maybe some of those books deserve a new life as a different object.
Another point that hits home for the environmentally conscious is that by repurposing a book that is damaged or can’t be sold, it is kept out of the landfill. Space in our landfills is at a premium as we continue to consume more and more material goods. Repurposing books not only keeps them from taking up space in the landfill, but it has the potential to change the perspectives of people regarding the one-use culture we have lived by for so long. We throw away so many things on a daily basis that, given a little imagination, could be repurposed into something else.
We try to incorporate this mindset into our daily lives here at the bookstore, and just recently Recycled Reads became a certified by the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability as an Austin Green Business Leader. We are excited to share our love of being green with others in the community and encourage you to stop by to learn more. We will also be at the Earth Day Festival at Mueller this Saturday. Look for our table in the City of Austin tent. We’ll have examples of our upcycled art and will be more than happy to discuss our passion for books – whether it’s giving them a new home or recreating them for a second chance at life.