Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Book Donation and Care: Things to Do Besides Reading

The curtain has closed for 2009, but before it made its final bow I was able to do good for others with the help of my longtime friends—aging books. When a friend, a family member, or a relative is in need lending a hand is much easier to do, without thinking twice. What if a stranger comes knocking at our door, could we do the same?

It could be done, even without needing to shell out any amount from one’s pocket, as I did a few weeks ago. I was thankful to the project of San Roque Cathedral; it gave me an opportunity to do charity through book donation. The less-fortunate residents of Smokey Mountain will be the recipient of the donated used books.

Based on what I can recall, this project is concurrent with the onset of December. At the end of each mass in San Roque Cathedral, announcements were made regarding the numerous projects, one of which is book donation; these are done for the spirit of Christmas. My sister and I decided to donate our used books we last read during high school, for example, mathematics, science, and english. These books are rarely used ever since our high school days were over. Though, some pages were smeared by yellowish discoloration, since acid-free papers were not used, they remained true to their purpose: providing wealth of knowledge; our disused textbooks can still aid the soon-to-be recipient in their education.

How did our used books withstand the test of time (some of them are more than a decade old)?  I’ll share ways of how we manage to have long-lasting books.

Cover: the Armor of Defense

The new appearance of books: sturdy cover or white and unfolded pages will not last long, especially if you don’t use plastic cover, which thickness varies to render the supposed armor. For paperback books you should use thick plastic cover, and for hardbound you may use a thinner one. Just as the egg’s shell protects the albumen and the yolk, so is the book cover.  Before you engross yourself in reading, have the heart to cover the book first.

Pages: “Fold Me Not”

Hold your horses. Don’t fold the pages; instead use a bookmark. In fact, you don’t even have to buy one: take a cardboard, cut it to resemble a bookmark, and decorate as desired—you have an alternative and personalized bookmark. If you don’t like using bookmark and you’re armed with eidetic memory then you’ll do best by remembering the page where you left of. But under no circumstances fold any page, since the folded part will become brittle as time goes by.

Projectile of Books?

Don’t throw your books! If you want to learn how to measure the projectile of things, in order to get a high grade from your physics teacher, use a ball or something else—spare the defenseless book. Throwing books would facilitate mutilation. And when you can’t make heads or tails after long hours of reading, don’t let out your anger and frustration by throwing the blameless book. Do yourself and the book a favor: ask someone’s help—regarding your lesson.

Bookshelf: the Tower of Safety

When books are not being used, put it back in the bookshelf or in a dry place where it wouldn’t accumulate dust or meet mishap: get wet, mistaken as a coloring book by a curious toddler, or rip apart by a teething dog. In my case, the first and the second are unlikely to happen. But the third is probable, since it happens occasionally with our newspaper. (Our dogs, perhaps, didn’t like the headline or they just miss their chewbone so much.)

Are you done reading and remembering these four tips? It’s time to practice. Look around you, and I bet you’ll see new and used books lying around: some may need pre-care, while some entail repair caused by unkind treatment.

All they need is care.

We could care to books even if we hardly use them anymore and give to people even if Christmas is over. If you love your books then chances are you’ll also love doing book donation.

You might be done reading but no need to rush; you may proceed a little further for more Clumsy Fancy Stuff!

Show your bighearted side by SHARING what you’ve just learned!


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