Dead Books 

Sometimes, you just have to declare that a book is dead. Sometimes, somebody has to be the grown up, and make the decision that nobody’s going to buy this book, nobody wants it, it has no resale value, and it’s time to return to that great paper pulp machine in the sky.

Intact books cause problems in the recycle stream. The glue holding the pages together is the problem.

The picture shows the remains of a book that was given to owners of brand new Porsches. Perhaps it was given to dealers. It had pretty photography, but except for its value as a record of that marketing campaign, the book itself had no resale value.

I cut the covers off, then tore the individual folios of pages away from the glue holding them together. The pages went in a box of mixed paper recycling. I don’t know if I can recycle this cover as cardboard as well.

I am more clear about making a decision to euthanize one of my pets then I am about destroying books and sending them into the recycle stream. I need to shift that around. It must be come easier to let go of books. Somebody has to make the decision, and they’re better off in the mixed paper recycling, than they are in the main landfill.

Donating unsellable books to the library sale or thrift shops is not helpful; they simply have to make the decision to kill the book and then cart it to the dump, and they have to pay for waste pickup.

Not all books are as easy to take apart. Paper backs don’t let go of their glue easily. I’m not sure that I’m going to be able to take a razor knife to as many dead and dying paper backs as are stashed around this house. If you know of an easy way to separate paperbacks from their glued spine, please let me know.

February 9, 2017 Update

Found Novel Living, by Lisa Occhipinti, at the library this week.

About collecting, displaying, and making crafts from books. Her display suggestions will not work for me; I don’t have any wall space or horizontal space that needs attention or embellishment. I have put “make a slipcase” on the project list for my collection of aging John MacDonald books that have come into my life from the Habitat Restore. They’re hard to find.


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