Book lovers rally to save gigantic collection before it burns
A Pike Lake, Sask. woman is enlisting people through social media to help her complete the last chapter of a battle with one colossal book collection.
Shaunna Raycraft adopted a collection of 350,000 books more than seven years ago. The original owner of the books had originally planned to burn them after her husband, a prolific collector, passed away.
Faced with a need to sell the property which now houses over 7,000 boxes of books, Raycraft has until the end of June before she, too, will have to face burning 200,000 or so remaining volumes, according to the Edmonton Journal.
Shaunna Raycraft is trying to donate as many books as she can before burning the rest of the colossal collection. (CBC) After years of sorting the books, donating them to charitable organizations in Saskatchewan as well as Africa, Raycraft has spent $15,000 on the project.
"We are kind of at a standstill," she told CBC News in June 2011. "I work at two jobs. My husband is a full-time student. We have three kids and no time. And no money. And so we're at the point now where were looking at having to burn some of the books ourselves."
With the clock ticking, Raycraft turned to Facebook to gather support for the final push. The page, called Raycraft Book Collection, has gathered more than 160 members. Some have suggested organizations or projects that could help sort the remaining books, like Indigo's Love of Reading Foundation. Others point to a crowd-sourced funds via Kickstarter.
She's also created an event on Facebook for the week of July 1, called Book Sort 2012, inviting charitable organizations and other interested book lovers to sort through the collection in hopes of whittling away the pile before burning the rest.
Media coverage of Raycraft's project has attracted support from across Saskatchewan and beyond. One Facebook member said that he had booked tickets all the way from Vancouver to attend Book Sort 2012.
"I am contacting you on behalf of Hillcrest Hutterite Colony where I work as a teacher," wrote Nicole Kornelson. "The Colony members are opening a second school in the fall and are interested in adding to their near empty library. Would their participation be welcome at your book sort?"
"Yes you are more than welcome!" replied Raycraft.
What would you do with a book collection too big to donate or ship to a library? Do you have a book collection too big for the shelves in your home? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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