[lit-ideas] The value of books
- From: epostboxx@xxxxxxxx
- To: Lit-Ideas <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2018 08:53:44 +0200
On 31. Jul 2018, at 06:59, david ritchie <profdritchie@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
A pub gave [a book about Hereward the Wake] to me; books are now either so
devalued or the sense of community is so strong that free book tables are
everywhere in Britain: leave a book, pick a new one. Or choose a book and
put some money in the box.
I have come across several of these book-sharing schemes, from simple
take-a-book/leave-a-book shelves and tables in supermarkets and other
commercial or public spaces to rather complex schemes where one can apparently
trace the readership/travels of a book. (I have up to now not participated in
any of these more complex schemes.) Here in Germany in certain neighbourhoods
one often comes across boxes (adorned with the label ‘Zu Verschenken’ [to give
away])of books on a yard wall or the sidewalk.
Among photos sent us by friends visiting New Zealand in January was a picture
of a small hut-like construction with a large openable glass window displaying
a couple of shelves of books at a campground. Prominent on the front of the
‘hut' was the sign ‘The Muriwai Little Library”.
A little Internet research led me to the 'Little Free Library’ home page:
A thirty second video explains the principle:
I suppose this represents the ‘devaluing’ of books in the sense that they are
deemed by their purchasers not worth the investment of time and energy required
to lug them around to second-hand stores. This may have as much to do with the
affluence of the book owner as the value of the book — or at least give
evidence of an owner-affluence/book-value relationship.
A related scheme here in Kiel is a series of second-hand bookshops that rely on
donations of books which are then sold ‘at market value’ (i.e., prices
comparable to commercially-run second-hand shops — something easily determined
thanks to the Internet). This income is used to provide employment for
‘psychologically handicapped’ people [ Menschen mit psychischer Behinderung’].
Here the notion of the ‘value’ of used books takes on an added dimension.
who as an avid and prolific reader
‘profits’ from several of the above-
mentioned schemes, in
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