Saskatchewan

Enormous book collection to get a sorting-out

A Saskatchewan couple is finally getting some help sorting through some 30 tonnes of books they rescued.

A Saskatchewan couple is finally getting some help sorting through some 30 tonnes of books they rescued.

Shaunna Raycraft and her husband  took over a disorganized collection of 350,000 books  when a neighbour threatened to burn them after her collector husband passed away.

The volumes were sitting in boxes in an empty building they moved onto their acreage near Pike Lake, Sask., about 30 kilometres south of Saskatoon. 

Before long, Raycraft and her husband found they couldn't sell them or give them away. As well, the task of sorting through the piles on their own proved too daunting and the couple were forced to contemplate burning some books. The weight of the books was ruining the building.

Since they first started telling their story, Raycraft says people with an interest in books have contacted them and a weekend sorting event is set to begin Friday.

Raycraft said 20 people, many of whom she met online through Facebook, will arrive to sort through the massive collection and help her unload the books.

Raycraft hopes to make dent in the stacks by the end of the weekend.

"I'm just really relieved that they are not going to be just thrown away or burned," Raycraft told CBC News. "Somebody is going to come and take them away that wants them and will give them a good home."

She said some books will be given away while others may be sold.

Raycraft figures she will hang on to about 20,000 books herself.

She said she plans to create a lending library.