Woman worried she’ll have to burn thousands of books
Published Monday, June 25, 2012 3:51PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 25, 2012 10:26PM EDT
A Saskatchewan woman is faced with the prospect of burning thousands of books after being evicted from her Pike Lake home.
Seven years ago Shaunna Raycraft acquired a collection of 350,000 titles after a neighbour -- an avid book collector -- died. Not knowing what to do with the 60 tonnes of books he left behind, his widow began burning the collection, which includes everything from car manuals, to sports titles to fiction.
That’s when Raycraft stepped in and offered to give the books a home -- but now she faces the same dilemma.
“It took approximately nine months to move the books using a 72-passenger Blue Bird school bus,” Raycraft told CTV Saskatoon.
She said the bus once served as the town’s mobile library.
Now that Raycraft must leave her home, the books must go too.
The Saskatoon woman is hosting a “book sort” from July 1 to 7. The children’s books will be donated to schools in northern Saskatchewan and Africa and the ones she can’t donate or resell will be burned.
Raycraft is hoping to get enough volunteers on hand to sort the books so only the damaged ones will be burned.
“I don’t want to burn books. That’s not my goal and it’s not a means, oh I’m tired of this and I’m going to burn the books,” she said. “There will be some books burned but the majority of them will be recycled or passed onto people who will use them.”
Since news of the book burn went public, Raycraft said book lovers have been volunteering to help save as many titles as possible.
“It’s been a really good response,” she said.
In an interview with CTV News Channel, Raycraft said her collection is not the type that could be donated to a library.
“The books that I have in my collection are what I would consider saved books. They were books withdrawn from the library, books that were not used in the Saskatoon Symphony book sale,” she explained. “There are books that were purchased as well, but that’s not the brunt of the collection.”
Raycraft said anyone looking to help with the book sort can contact her through the Facebook group Raycraft Book Collection.
With a report from CTV Saskatoon’s John Baglieri