First & Washington

Stopped. Watched. icon

A classic book in the Kiwanis dumpster out behind the 8-ball Saloon. [Complete vignette in the first comment.]

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  1. By Bear
    September 23, 2013 at 11:18 pm | permalink

    Kiwanis dumpster out behind the 8-ball Saloon. I saw a number of wicker baskets and books and other things discarded. One book drew me to retrieve it. It turned out to be a book by Russell Baker, an American Pulitzer Prize-winning writer known for his satirical commentary and self-critical prose, as well as for his autobiography, “Growing Up.”

    This book that I found is a sequel to his autobiography, written in 1989. It is a first edition, given by a woman named Bev, to her father on Father’s Day, called “The Good Times.”

    A casual, instinctive grab for a book resulted in a classic being discovered, as well as learning about an author I hadn’t known about.

    It seems that these books and other stuff that they are getting rid of could be utilized in some fashion, instead of being wasted. I saved one book, that I will, indeed, read.

  2. By johnboy
    September 24, 2013 at 3:08 am | permalink

    Kiwanis really does throw out a lot of good stuff but they just don’t have room to store it. If it doesn’t sell it goes into the trash. I estimate that at least half of what is donated to Kiwanis goes in to the landfill.

  3. By bear
    September 24, 2013 at 8:14 pm | permalink

    Perhaps they could reach out to places like the U of M hospital or the VA for books and perhaps arrange with an organization to give stuff to the people who cannot afford to purchase much other than food/rent for their use.

    It just seems a waste to let it all go to waste. I know some people investigate the dumpster to see what they might find that they can use or find someone who can use whatever they retrieve.

    BTW, i lent the book to a friend to read and I’ll read it when she’s done with it. She was really excited about it, especially after checking out who the author was.

  4. By bear
    September 24, 2013 at 8:17 pm | permalink

    But that was also a reason to put it on stopped, watched, to generate conversation about it in the comments section. To see what ideas it might generate. Maybe nothing, maybe something, it was worth the effort.

    I’ve found useful items there. I don’t keep early hours often, so I don’t make it to Kiwani’s sales often, waking up about the time they’re finishing up for the day!

  5. September 24, 2013 at 8:29 pm | permalink

    I keep meaning to buy one of those “little free library” kits. I would totally put discarded books in it to give them another chance to find a home :)

  6. September 25, 2013 at 7:30 am | permalink

    Remember Afterwords, the book store? I used to find some really great books in their trash.

  7. September 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm | permalink

    At Ann Arbor PTO Thriftshop, we have set a policy for timing out donated books from the shelves if they don’t sell. Books, and all of our other merchandise, is tagged with date stamps, and we periodically go through and clear the ‘timed out’ books to keep the supply fresh for customers. There is only so much shelf space to be had. After books time out and are pulled, they are bundled into boxes which we sell at greatly reduced bulk prices to book dealers and others, who find homes for them as start-up and filler materials for used book stores in other cities and countries; or as someone suggested, as donations to libraries, hospitals, reading programs, etc. Books that arrive damaged, or don’t sell through our discount process are recycled. A peek behind the scenes of a thrift shop would reveal just how many books there are in this world – it’s a wonder there are any trees left standing.

  8. By bear
    September 25, 2013 at 7:12 pm | permalink

    that’s a good idea, Jeff. I know that is what Kiwani’s difficulty is with their books and other merchandise.

    Glad to hear the comments of so many people

    Yes, A free library stand is a great idea also! I’ve seen some of them and pictures of others from other places! That is a great way to circulate books, teacherpatti!

  9. By Mary Morgan
    September 25, 2013 at 8:27 pm | permalink

    For anyone who’s interested, here’s a link to the Little Free Library website: [link]

  10. September 26, 2013 at 3:33 pm | permalink

    It is difficult to get used books into the right hands. Some books fit into the “long tail” category – very precious to just a tiny micropercentage of the population and useless to the majority. I was disappointed when I placed some technical books with a local book reseller and they were never put up for sale on the Internet but rather cycled to the ReUse Center. They’ll probably be tossed instead of ending up as a valuable classic on the right shelf.

    The PTO solution sounds like a good one, since used bookstores are the place for seekers to find such books. I’m pleased to find that they take that extra care.

  11. By TJ
    September 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm | permalink

    I donated some (undamaged children’s) books to the PTO thrift shop last month, and I saw them on the free shelf at the downtown library the very next week. I know they were the same books, because they were distinctive. Perhaps the shelves were too full for mine to go through the process described in #7.