Book Burning 2011

This Cracked article leaves me … well, ALMOST speechless.

For the past year or so, part of my job has been to walk through library warehouses and destroy tens of thousands of often old and irreplaceable books.


Imagine holding a beautiful, dusty, illustrated volume of Shakespeare printed in the 1700s, a calligraphic message from its long-dead owner inscribed on the inside cover, and throwing it straight in the trash. I’ve been there, more than once. I could have kept it and maybe gotten a few hundred dollars for it on eBay, if my supervisor wasn’t watching with specific orders to prevent me from doing that.

Um …

Sure, it’s one thing that libraries are forced to shred their collections because of an implosion in the economy. That’s depressing, but understandable. But what about when thousands of turn-of-the-last-century books and newspapers become landfill because the library wants to install a coffee shop?


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