Submit your own Neatorama post and vote for others' posts to earn NeatoPoints that you can redeem for T-shirts, hoodies and more over at the NeatoShop!

350,000 Books Saved from Burning Now to be Burned

What happens when you rescue over a quarter-million books from the incinerator? You have to buy another house to live in, first. Then you have to figure out what to do with all the books when they start to tear your house apart.
When Shaunna Raycraft learned that her neighbor planned to burn 350,000 books, she decided to take over the collection herself. After all, her neighbor’s husband was a collector and many rare books–including a first edition of Black Beauty–could be found in the sprawling stacks. But now Raycraft and her husband might be forced to burn the books themselves because they don’t know what else to do with them.

They tried selling them on eBay. They tried selling them to other collectors. They even tried selling them to used bookstores. But no one wanted to endure the arduous task of sorting through the books.

Apparently they never seriously considered donating the books, though, because now the plan is to burn them anyway. Bookworms all over are unimpressed--a #savethebooks tag has been tracking the debate on twitter.

Link | Image: CBC News

She should donate them to local libraries. That number of books would be overwhelming for any library to handle, but if they split them up between libraries it would be manageable.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Have you ever tried to donate books to a library? They won't take them.
Any they do take would be for the library booksale, not for the collection.

You could donate them to a Goodwill at about a box at a time. Sell them to a used bookstore for $1 a box, at about a box at a time.

At the rate that those places would take things in, you should be able to get through maybe 1,000th of it in your lifetime..

About the only way to get rid of them if they are in good condition (ie. no mold, binding holding up) is to advertise free for the public, and let them tromp on through your house all the time for as long as it takes.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
This story is actually from a community just outside the city I live in, and I've been following the story as well...
They have been trying to get the local (and provincial) libraries to assist by taking the books, but for some reason they can't get any interest. There are people trying to work with them... but they really seemed to only want the books originally to see how much they could sell them for.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I'm hopeful that the owners of the books, having failed to dispose of them, are merely trying to use the shock value of 'we will burn these books if nobody helps us' to make this a newsworthy article and thus get the help they need. The story would not be so noteworthy if they'd just said, 'if nobody wants them, well, we'll have to just keep them'.

If not, of all the things you could do with books, the last thing anybody should go for is burning. Can they not at least be pulped and recycled? Shredded into nest material for a billion hamsters? Show some imagination!
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Neatorama is my favorite site, but i am sad about this posting because I know this story very well, and the poster did not read it either entirely or decided to focus on one sentence- " And so we're at the point now where were looking at having to burn some of the books ourselves." This could mean anything from hundreds to a simple few. What you have neglected is that the couple is seeking help to categorize and save these book, and people have already volunteered. Your heading, although a sexy title, is very misleading.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
They are aware this isn't an all or nothing proposition? Just because a used bookstore won't buy all the books at once doesn't mean they won't buy a few boxes at a time. And they could donate a few boxes at a time to libraries. Somebody won't buy every single book in one go, so you're going to burn it all down? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I've sold books myself in the past. Yeah, it can be time-consuming, but it's also a good, flexible income stream if you split up the work into smaller chunks and prioritize instead of being lazy, stubborn, and idiotic about it, like these people. Learn ten key typing (you'll pick it up along the way), grab a few boxes, type each ISBN into, sort the books by "last sold" price, focus on selling the valuable ones, dump the penny books at a goodwill (a few boxes at a time), and sell the mid-value stuff to a resale shop (a few boxes at a time). It won't get done in one fell swoop, but so what? It's not that hard.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
And this is why we'll all be happy to use tablet PC's soon... The last time I moved maybe 20 boxes of books my love of my personal library drastically dwindled. If the world came to a point where the internet completely failed, I think moving a ton of books would be low on my priority list...

Getting practical in my old age I guess...

What's next? Mountains of old photographs?

Send them to google for digitizing and then burn them.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
So much Interest! Thanks to all who left comments!
Please let me make this perfectly clear... The building that is housing the book collection is collapsing under the weight of the books. If we do not do something soon we will lose the ENTIRE collection. Most of the books range from 50 to 200 years old and many were rescured from being discarded from libraries and charitiable organizations. I am more than willing to donate a portion of the books and in fact am sending 2000 to Zambia for children in 3 different schools. It was difficult to convey the reality of the situation in a 3 minute blurb on the news so please don't judge me as I am doing my best to save the majority of the collection! To keep posted please join our Facebook Group Raycraft Book Collection! you can volunteer time for sorting if you live close enough and any and all interest will be appreciated!
S. Raycraft
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Click here to access all of this post's 11 comments

Email This Post to a Friend
"350,000 Books Saved from Burning Now to be Burned"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More