The book

The library is one of the seven wonders of sustainability and thus also the book (Alan Durning). Thus, the book, the good old book, is the sustainability core of the entire project. It is at the end of the value chain and, as it were, at the centre of attention. The book is a carrier of knowledge, stories and history, ideas and thoughts. It can be read over and over again, comparable to renewable energy. The libraries provide access to the book and then it only has 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, decentralised distribution of books under civil society responsibility and the protection of books from disposal. In the street library on the corner, the book remains visible and part of collective consciousness. By exchanging the books in an uncomplicated way, an age-old basic principle of sustainability becomes apparent: 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 emergence of e-books and the loss of reading skills, the book is coming under cultural and economic pressure, although around 60 thousand new publications come onto the market every year. At the same time, classic, consulting-intensive bookstores are disappearing in favor of Amazon, city libraries and bookbusses have 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, for them literature no longer plays a formative role. Whoever is to blame for this dilemma, literature and literary heritage no longer seem to play a role in the interpretation of individual life experiences and social developments.

At the same time, we are witnessing the phenomenon of a growing flood of old books: children do not know what to do with their parents’ books and libraries. In many cases, these books end up in disposal when housing is dissolved. The BücherboXXen therefore also fulfil a function of redistribution and protection of the books from destruction.

In the project “Nachhaltige BücherboXX” we now combine the book as the traditional and still most important cutlery carrier with “vocational training”. In his article “Cultural Education for Sustainable Development as a Cross-sectoral Task of Vocational Education and Training” Konrad Kutt explains the reasons for and challenges of this topic. In: Cultural Education. No. 09, 2012 (BKJ)

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