The library is one of the seven wonders of the world of sustainability and thus also the book (Alan Durning). Therefore, the book, the good old book, is the sustainability core of the entire project. It is located at the end of the value chain and at the same time in the centre of attention. The book is the bearer of knowledge, stories and history, ideas and thoughts. It can be read over and over again, comparable to renewable energy. Access to the book is provided by the libraries, among others, and then it only needs to be read or read aloud. The book needs no energy except the energy to read – and of course to write. We have taken up another aspect of sustainability in the project: the free, decentralized distribution of books in a civil society responsible way and the preservation of books from disposal. In the street library on the corner, the book remains visible and part of the collective consciousness. By exchanging the books in an uncomplicated way, an ancient basic principle of sustainability becomes visible: simplicity. The theoretical concept of a new economy of sharing becomes tangible and transferable to other areas of life and the economy.
With the growth of electronic media, the advent of e-books and the loss of reading skills, the book is coming under cultural and economic pressure, even though around 60,000 new publications come onto the market every year. At the same time, traditional, consulting-intensive bookstores are disappearing in favour of Amazon, and city libraries and book buses are having to fight for their survival.
The FAZ spoke of a “crisis of reading” in 2017. Young people in particular are growing up more and more without books and literature no longer plays a formative role for them. Whoever is to blame for this dilemma, literature and literary heritage obviously no longer play a role in the interpretation of individual life experiences and social developments.
At the same time, in these years we are witnessing the phenomenon of a growing flood of old books: the children don’t know what to do with their parents’ books and libraries. In many cases, these books end up in the waste disposal system when they are disposed of in homes. The BücherboXXen therefore also fulfil a function of redistribution and the preservation of books from destruction.
In the “Sustainable Book BOX” project, we are now combining the book as the traditional and still most important cutting tool with “vocational training”. Konrad Kutt explains in his contribution “Cultural Education for Sustainable Development as a Cross-Sectional Task of Vocational Education and Training” the reasons and challenges for this topic. In: Cultural Education. No. 09, 2012 (BKJ)
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