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What are we going to do with all of the old books, sitting unread, on shelves around the world.


In this digital age, with the decline of print, there are millions and millions of books sitting on shelves in homes, libraries and other places that seem destined for the scrap heap. I wrote a Hub about sustainable construction and another hubber asked me if there was any use for all of the books - and I quote, "Can I build a house with them? Can I burn them in a fluidised bed combustion and turn them into bio-char? Can I use them to build retaining walls? Ideas welcome on sustainable design using old books." Most of us love books, so what are we going to do?

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M. T. Dremer profile image92

M. T. Dremer says

4 years ago
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    Bruce (brblog) 4 years ago

    M.T. - thanks for the comment,

    I'm sure there are many who share your sentiment but I wonder about future generations growing-up with digital mindset. I have two in middle-school who are using laptops and have some textbooks on-line.

peeples profile image88

Peeples says

4 years ago
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    Bruce (brblog) 4 years ago

    peeples,

    Thanks for you comment, that would be a worthy effort.

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JJ Murray (multiculturalsoul) says

4 years ago
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    Bruce (brblog) 4 years ago

    Thanks for the comment - the bookshelf industry needs books to survive.

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Chitrangada Sharan (ChitrangadaSharan) says

4 years ago
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    Bruce (brblog) 4 years ago

    Chitrangada Sharan,

    Thanks for your comment. Libraries are already clearing the shelves of many books, especially reference material. I wonder where they all end-up?

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Bernard J. Toulgoat (austinhealy) says

4 years ago
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    Bruce (brblog) 4 years ago

    austinhealy,

    Right, books may become collector's items (not just rare books) - modern printing allowed us to take books for granted but if there are less books, we may grow to appreciate them more - like people did back when printing was harder.

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viveresperando says

4 years ago
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    Bruce (brblog) 4 years ago

    Thanks for the comment - as an Architect that worked on a couple of libraries, I can tell you that many are trying to get rid of lots off books.

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Michael Adewale Olubode (micadeolu) says

4 years ago
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    Bruce (brblog) 4 years ago

    micadeolu,

    I agree, they do need to be digitized but what about the physical book - what do we do with these?


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Lisa HW profile image82

Lisa HW says

4 years ago
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    Bruce (brblog) 4 years ago

    Yes, the intent of the original question was: what else can we do with books - build a house?

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aspiretoinspire says

4 years ago
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    Bruce (brblog) 4 years ago

    aspiretoinspire,

    Thanks for the comment - Google Books and some other on-line sources (Internet Archive) have been putting older (and sometimes hard to find) books on line at an amazing pace - but we will still have lots of books laying around.

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CDX (phillippeengel) says

4 years ago
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    Bruce (brblog) 4 years ago

    Thanks for the comment - we may need books when the power goes out!

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