Books are a great way to get lost in another world for a few hours, but anyone with a passion for reading knows that old books can pile up quickly.
"I think just in general, we throw out a lot of stuff that can still be used," said Sue Karp, library assistant at the Fort Saskatchewan Public Library. "It is unfortunate that at a certain point, some things do just have to be gotten rid of, whether it's because they're moldy, because it's a health hazard, that kind of thing. But often, the case is that there are other people who can't afford books or don't realize the benefits of having a free library card... so donating them to someone else means that someone else gets to enjoy that beautiful story that you've read."
The Library is able to accept a limited number of used books that are in good condition, but they can't take anything that might quickly fall out of relevance.
"The thing is that as a public library, we don't accept textbooks or used almanacs, magazines or journals, or anything like that," Karp explained. "It's something we can't add to our collection and if it doesn't go on our sale table, we end up just putting it in recycling."
Karp recommends that those with used editions of these types of books take them to places like Twice But Nice, Value Village, or Goodwill. Better quality books that have the potential to be purchased can be brought into Edmonton to places like Wee Book Inn.
There are also a variety of artistic options for used books on websites like Pinterest. One common craft, best completed with a hardcover book, is a secret box. One must remove the center section of the inner pages of the book before coating them in a craft glue. Upon drying, the book will be able to be used as a hiding spot for various items, while maintaining its unsuspecting appearance.
The Fort Saskatchewan Public Library partners with the local prison to donate books multiple times a year.
"People don't usually think of that but the fact is that prisons have very limited budgets and if they have money, they're usually not going to put it toward books for people."
The Library seeks to recycle as much as possible and encourages users to see the value in sharing their favourite stories through donation or other means.