Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Great Book Giveaway

Simple Ways to Help Encourage Reading

AVC instructor Santi Tafarella has a lot of books.  They are in his house, in his garage, in his office.  Since our tastes overlap, I would guess he owns 5,000 books.  (I base that on a count I once made of my own collection.)

The thing is, with so many books, a few are bound to be duplicates --- or else titles that even after 20 years, we just never have gotten around to.

He has had a great idea.  Give the books away for free, by filling up mobile carts and leaving them in hallways around campus.

These have been absurdly successful.  He has helped give away 500 books so far, and indeed, has been so successful that we have had to slow down --- not for lack of interest, but because the carts empty faster than we can collect donations to refill them.

That is why I found myself following up.  Here are some of the Trader Joe's bags in the back of my truck, as I worked my way through my own bookshelves.

Students have been enthusiastic.  Full carts, once put out around campus, are emptied in an hour or two.  Here is a video clip about what they say:

Professor Tafarella also would like to have a campus "read-in," which would be a day when all over campus, at the same time, people who love reading --- staff and faculty and students --- will go outside and just read for an hour, silently, publicly, unashamedly. 

I am all for this, and look forward to the details.  Great job, Santi!

If you want to bring some bags of books yourself to him, so he can keep refilling the carts, here is his office extension.