Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sunshine and Dumpster-diving

Nothing like some autumn sunshine to lift spirits. And every man and his dog was out in Melbourne today to do some basking in it.

I went into the city to go to the library and pick up some wool for a yarn-bombing project (more about that later), and when I got off the tram at Flinders St there was a HUGE open skip on the side of the road full of books. Hundreds of them. I don't know who was throwing them out, or why, but the bin had attracted a sizeable crowd.

It was heartening to see the good citizens of Melbourne (City of Literature) picking through a dumpster of books, and I wish I'd had a camera. Everyone was at it - from well-heeled matrons to skinny jean hipsters to fluoro-orange-vested tradies.  All looking for a good read on a Saturday and none too proud to nose-dive into a bin for it.

What a literary bunch we are!


  1. Hi!

    Awww the power of books and especially free ones!!! No matter how all those "experts" predict the end of the print word and the rise of things like kindle, people will always have space in their hearts for the good ol fashioned book. Well done good citizens of Melbourne!

    Actually there was a well know uni here in london who did just that - they needed space, withdrew books and left them in a skip.

    There then followed OUTRAGE!! Academics and students called in the press, signed a petition, boo-ed their library until the books were retaken and un-withdrawn. :-)

    In the library's defence - they did send these same academics and students the full list of the books they were about to withdraw giving them a deadline to say which ones shouldn't be removed. No-one or a very few replied.

    I hope you joined in the rummage... books are our friends!

    Take care

  2. This is a great thing for any reader to see -- people being attracted to books. I hope they all went to good homes. How many books did you find?

    Old Kitty,
    That's a fascinating story because the twist is that the librarians did warn them. Maybe the students/academics didn't believe it until it happened!

  3. notesfromnadir, welcome!
    I hope they all got taken too, though I went past again today and the whole thing was gone.
    I had a quick poke around yesterday, but unfortunately was in too much of a hurry to fight of the bookish hordes that had gathered.

    Old Kitty- I feel a bit sorry for that library! Nothing like being totally ignored, and then totally vilified as a result of people totally ignoring you!