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

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  1. brblog profile image78
    brblogposted 10 years ago

    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?


  2. ChitrangadaSharan profile image93
    ChitrangadaSharanposted 10 years ago

    That's a very  relevant question. Like you, even I feel very much concerned about all the books lying at our homes, libraries and elsewhere around the world.
    It would be great if people again start taking interest in the books. I can not think anything other than this-----Treasure them, take care of them for future generations.

    1. brblog profile image78
      brblogposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      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?

  3. micadeolu profile image39
    micadeoluposted 10 years ago

    I guess the best thing is to create academic orientation for students and encourage them to convert these books to digital resource which stake holders of education and interested individuals or groups can edit and publish on the web. Some may call this piracy but our law makers can do something about that; and make a law provision that will allow such to take place.

    I like your observation and I think its worth considering to prepare our youth for the challenges coming before them in the next generations.

    1. brblog profile image78
      brblogposted 10 years agoin reply to this


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

    2. micadeolu profile image39
      micadeoluposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Well, once digitized in a manner generations to come will still benefit from them we have no more use for them again. As I type these words now an idea just came in that we humans should find means of recording events that will survive for ages.

  4. peeples profile image94
    peeplesposted 10 years ago

    Well considering there are so many countries who have no access to nooks and kindles and such, maybe we should start donating the unused to those countries.

    1. brblog profile image78
      brblogposted 10 years agoin reply to this


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

  5. M. T. Dremer profile image82
    M. T. Dremerposted 10 years ago

    Personally, I'm having trouble switching to the digital age of books. I've owned a kindle for almost a year now, and I read a total of one and a half novels on it. Meanwhile I read over ten physical books in that same span of time. I think that for a lot of avid readers, books will become decoration. For example, my dream house has always included a study/library where I line the walls with shelves and fill those shelves with books. I cant exactly do that with a collection of ebooks. Not everyone will want a room like that, but imagine how dull bookstores, libraries and studies would be without the physical volumes.

    1. brblog profile image78
      brblogposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      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.

  6. austinhealy profile image76
    austinhealyposted 10 years ago

    I am convinced a lot of books will be disposed of in an undignified way as you suggested. However, I am also convinced that many will stay around and will remain appreciated by a large number of people. The best of them will become collector's items, as it happened with paintings or cars of the past for example. I am sure people who have large libraries will pass them on to their heirs. I mean if people collect matchboxes, which are useless, at least you can read a book and get something out of it. So, even though I fear a large number of books will be gone, enough will be preserved for future generations to laugh at the way their ancestors used to read. Sad, but a sure sign of the times. Great question about a real concern !

    1. brblog profile image78
      brblogposted 10 years agoin reply to this


      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.

  7. aspiretoinspire profile image60
    aspiretoinspireposted 10 years ago

    Like others have said, we could give them to people in countries who don't have much access to books. BUT we could digitise them all first, so that they could be accessed online, by everyone, eventually (after copyright expires, I guess).

    I hear Google Books is digitising a lot of books.

    I love books, so if I have to give them away, I usually pass them on to friends/family/charity store.

    1. brblog profile image78
      brblogposted 10 years agoin reply to this


      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.

  8. Lisa HW profile image61
    Lisa HWposted 10 years ago

    My little kids used to take my nice cookbook set and make stairs out of all the books.  Maybe that's something we all should be considering.    smile  smile

    1. brblog profile image78
      brblogposted 10 years agoin reply to this

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

  9. viveresperando profile image64
    viveresperandoposted 10 years ago

    We could donate our books to the libraries so they can add more to their collections that can be used, shared, and loved by our communities.  I am struggling with the fact that I need to let go of a lot of my printed treasures, *sigh*.  it is not easy, but totally loving my Kindle and loving the fact that it is currently holding 1000+ treasures for me to enjoy.   I could never hold 1000 books in my hand, giggles.

    1. brblog profile image78
      brblogposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      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.

  10. phillippeengel profile image68
    phillippeengelposted 10 years ago

    We cannot let archaic books to degrade just like that...these books can be donated to charities and other non-for-profit organizations since their value are low. Albeit the digital age is truly flourishing, there are some drawbacks we fail to realize, that in order to read texts on our computers, we consume electrical energy. Reading real books is one of the ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint!

    1. brblog profile image78
      brblogposted 10 years agoin reply to this

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

  11. multiculturalsoul profile image75
    multiculturalsoulposted 10 years ago

    My books keep my bookshelves and bookcases true and square. If I remove too many of them, the shelves will fall and the bookcases will implode. I suppose the ones in boxes under the stairs are providing vital insulation to that part of the house.

    1. brblog profile image78
      brblogposted 10 years agoin reply to this

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


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