the book look

I’m not crying, you’re crying.

But really, if you aren’t getting a little emotional over the recent CNN article  where Turkish garbage collectors rescued discarded books and turned them into a free public library, I’m not sure we can be friends.

According to the article, garbage collectors began collecting abandoned books they’d found, and with the help of their neighbors’ donated books, eventually had enough literature to open a public library with over 6,000 books including fiction, comics, and books in different languages.

You may ask why it matters that a group of people are saving old books while there are still people starving; misery in the world; horrible things happening every day.

What good are a few books when there’s so much bad happening?

But by reading the article, you can clearly see the good that the library — originally just for the collectors and their families until the idea became wildly popular — has done.

One man said he now has a library in his town after years of wishing for one in his house.

The books that were once thrown away are now being requested by local schoolteachers, loaned to educational programs, and, as one person said, took things that were once left as useless and used them in a place where they were desperately wanted.

Rather than mindlessly shoveling handfuls of literature in with trash, old food and who knows what else, the garbage collectors saw the value of what others called “trash” and turned them into a collection of highly valued library books.

Rather than collecting garbage, they collected books.

As adorable as I personally find the story (it may need printed and framed, I’m still deciding), the article is a reminder of the value that libraries can have — and the value that books can have.

Study spots, Paterno Humanities Reading Room, Harry Potter Room

Students study in the Paterno Humanities Reading Room, also known as the ‘Harry Potter Room,’ in the Pattee Library on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.

Not every town is fortunate enough to have a library, but that’s another rant for another time.

Remember that pile of books you never read/never liked/finally finished and hid away so you didn’t have to see ever again?

You may not have much use for those old children’s books cluttering up your shelves at home, but parents who can’t afford to buy their baby brand new books would undoubtedly appreciate having them — especially since studies have shown that infants who are exposed to more words while their brains are developing are more likely to have an easier time speaking and learning.

Chances are that students at an underprivileged school would be clamoring for them, or that kids who don’t have access to libraries could use them for their class reading project.

That book series you would die if anyone knew you secretly loved? Pass on the entertainment (and ensuing shame!) to someone who was too embarrassed to check it out at the library or didn’t have enough money to buy their own copy.

Those novels you had to buy for class and considered throwing out the window by page 20? People who have no access to television, iPads or phones may use it to fill up their extra hours.

If you just toss your books away, chances are that they’ll end up shredded, torn, useless, or at best recycled — the words in them no good to anyone.

Rather than needlessly abandoning words that you have no use for, you can pass them onto someone else.

And that’s the real value of turning trash into treasure.

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