Thursday, April 26, 2007

Dumpster Dive

This was what I saw behind the library on my way home this evening - a dumpster filled with old books, magazines, journals and microfilms that were leftover from yesterday's free giveaways. And now they are all wet from the rain.

I understand most libraries have to clear out old book shelves to open up floor space for computer terminals and other electronic information systems. I mean, most information are now available electronically and they do not take up as much physical space as books and microfilms. Nonetheless, it is a shame to see them all thrown away like that.

I still remember my father's treasured encyclopedia set from when I was a kid. There were over 15 volumes and they took up a whole shelf in our family room. Any time we had a question, we would turn to the encyclopedia for answers. Now, I use wikipedia.com and Merrian-Webster.com instead of the paper versions. I even read my news on NYTimes.com and CNN.com.

So do you still read the old newspapers everyday?


28 comments:

edwin s said...

Oh dear! That's quite a sight. I use the online 'books' too but I have a proper set at home. I enjoy physically flipping the pages looking for information.

Did you pick up anything from the bin?

Ming_the_Merciless said...

No, between holding the umbrella in one hand and the camera in the other, I didn't have much choice.

But seriously I'm trying to live a zen lifestyle (ie. few attachment to physical things) so I don't like clutter around the apartment. Very few things are allowed to enter into the apartment, so much so that my parents REFUSED to buy me stuff anymore. I tend to give them away to people and they aren't too happy about it. :-)

Glenn Standish said...

What a sad waste of literature. I'm sure that they could have gone to a better use somewhere...

My english school here in Poland would have loved to have had some extra books for its own libarary.

Gerald England said...

It almost makes me cry to see all these books left to rot in the rain. I've got 100s of books. I've given a lot away, donated some to charity stores except they won't collect them and I can only carry a few at a time.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I hope, at least, the books are all recycled as used paper is better than cutting down our eco system to make new. What a waste. But I suppose it happens all over the world more often than we can imagine. And speaking of rain, it poured down rain yesterday and it is raining now.

I took some rainy-day photographs, yesterday, that are very unusual. You might be interested in seeing them.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville Daily Photo

Fabrizio ikol22 said...

I agree on what Gerald said. It's a shame whatever reasons took them to waste them. About newspaper, yes, I do read it almost everyday. Most of time I don't have necessary time to read it all over but I adore to smell paper perfume and to hold it. Electronic books I'm afraid will be a flop. Until when humanity will print books, some of us will live forever.

Jilly said...

Oh Ming, it's sad to see books chucked out like this. I wish I could be like you - I hoard books. Have days where I go thru them trying to chuck some out and only a few make it - and then to the local English library.

You are right tho, so much is online. I did chuck out my adored Encyclopedia Britannicas cos it's so much easier online.

Wish I could be Zen like you about STUFF. I have too much STUFF. Books and everything else. I think it's called clutter.

J x

Carol E. said...

I admire your zen lifestyle. I want to get to that point of drastic reduction of STUFF in my house. And thanks for visiting my blog and your super nice comments on my photos.

Olivier said...

personnellement je fais collection d'un journal sur le football depuis mes 12 ans. et j'adore venir les relire.


personally I have made collection of a newspaper on soccer for my 12 years. and I adore to come to read again them.

pom d'api said...

Oh my got!!!!! Many books in garbage can. I'ts an sacrilege.

Ming_the_Merciless said...

Glenn Standish - If your library need English books, I'm sure we (the Daily Photo community) can help you. Maybe you can do a photo with a request for some books. I'm sure people will sent them in.

Gerald England - It's the same here. Actually, when I moved less than 2 years ago, I boxed up all my novels and took them to the second hand bookstores and none of them want it.

Carol & Jilly - If you saw the size of my small one-bedroom apartment, you will know why I don't like clutter. Plus I'm a bit of a neat freak. :-)

Fabrizio - I hate newspaper ink on my fingers. That is why I don't read the regular newspaper anymore.

Abe Lincoln - I will stop by your blog in a bit. Thanks for visiting.

Olivier & Pom d'Api - Thanks for stopping by.

Oh for the love of food! said...

I agree with you Ming, Less is definitely more. I hate clutter too and my obsession with neatness and cleanliness has been tagged as OCD. I don't read the newspapers nor do I sit down and watch the news. I always say "no news is good news".

Ex-Shammickite said...

What a criminal waste! I hope there's some kind of paper recycling programme so these books won't end up in the landfill.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Came back to thank you for visiting. I answered your question back there too but will say that I have worked on the backyard you saw for about 40 years and that was lots of changes. Putting something in that doesn't work and replacing it with something else and then wait to see if that works.

Abe Lincoln

Keropok Man said...

yes, i still subscribe to the physical newspaper and i must get my daily dose of local news.

but i read the online versions of newspaper of other countries.

i am a news junkie.

The Singapore National Library holds sales to dispose off old books too. They will go from 50 cents to a few dollars. Many people will go queue and buy them!

Oya said...

That is a shame. There must be hundreds of schools that would be excited about this books....
About papers, I buy 2 papers at Sunday's. I like their smell and I like to play with them...Weekdays? No time for that, only online papers...

Per Stromsjo said...

Like others already stated, a sad scene indeed.

Yup, my daily newspaper arrives every morning and I wouldn't trade that luxury for a lengthy on-line experience. I do check the paper web-wise as well when there is something particularly interesting I'd like to know *now* and not tomorrow morning. Maybe an exit-poll from some election or some sport results. Call me old-fashioned... :)

alice said...

You're a wise man, Ming, trying to be detached from things...I like too much books and I have many many of them almost in every room...And I feel sad seeing your shot today, so many people have no books, no paper, nothing to learn...It's a waste.

alice said...

About your post of yesterday, did you read The Big Rock Candy Mountain and Angle of Repose (both by Wallace Stegner)? If you like good big big books, sad but very well written. Let me know...

Chuckeroon said...

Ouch......that's quite a photo, Ming. I hope most of it was only out of date directories for pulp, but I fear not.

Rest of the Community seems to agree.

Belinda said...

OH NOOOOOO!!!! Now that's just lazy and thoughtless. I fail to believe there was not even one better alternative to just throwing all those books in a dumpster!

All the wasted paper!

A total disregard for all the blood, sweat and tears that went into creating each of those books!

Are we really that much of a throw away society?

So sad :o(

Annie said...

No, I don't read old newspapers; I do read new ones though. And I read old and new books.

Kate said...

I think it's almost criminal, but we don't know anything about the books being tossed: publication date, etc. There is an organization in St. Paul, MN called "Books for Africa" which fund-raises and collects books for community and school libraries for many different African countries, and those that aren't going to be used in that way will go to prison libraries. It's been a huge success for years. Better way to make use of books. Newspapers? I still have local newspapers delivered daily (coffee time!)plus the NYTimes on Sunday. I also read out-of-town and foreign newspapers on the internet. There's a place for both and I moan the inevitable loss of daily papers.

TCho said...

The main reason I don't read regular papers anymore is because I can't stand getting the ink on my fingers. Also, they're a pain to fold on a crowded subway.

lv2scpbk said...

That's a shame to throw out some much stuff. Someone somewhere could use them.

stilettoheights said...

That is so sad, I am a paper and book junkie, and that is just a sad sight.

pusa said...

oh my god, such a waste! wish i was there to pick up the books and give it in some of the schools here in Manila.

i'm an old fashioned person who still loves to read my books traditionally over a cup of coffee. but i do read my newspapers online

Ja said...

i used to work at one of the Metropolitan Museum's libraries and my job was to toss all the old books (old educational catalogues and slide machine instruction manuals from the 1950s). It was very sad, especially since I was forbidden to keep anything.