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Books IN hugelkultur  RSS feed

 
Posts: 110
Location: SC Pennsylvania, Zone 6b
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This may seem an odd thing, but I'd love to try and make it work. I am the owner of a used book store. Often people give me boatloads of books that are not saleable, but they are incapable of throwing them away because it is a sin or something. I give away as many as possible but that still leaves me with 10-20 boxes per week of worthless books. To date they have been shipped off to the landfill.

Does anyone know if they could be used in a hugelkultur bed? I imagine they would hold water quite well, but I don't know if there is much nutritional value to them. I have heard that phone books never decompose at a landfill because they are too dense. Would this be a problem too?

I could literally build a whole bed per/week with just the crazy excess of books I get!

Thanks,
Julie
 
master pollinator
Posts: 10366
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Books are mostly cellulose, with some ink which may or may not be slightly toxic. They should work as the wood component in hugelkultur, I think.
 
Posts: 131
Location: Lemon Grove, CA
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Julie Helms wrote:


I could literally build a whole bed per/week with just the crazy excess of books I get!



or you could donate them here http://www.betterworldbooks.com/Info-Discards-Donations-Program-m-4.aspx
 
Julie Helms
Posts: 110
Location: SC Pennsylvania, Zone 6b
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Marianne West wrote:

Julie Helms wrote:


I could literally build a whole bed per/week with just the crazy excess of books I get!



or you could donate them here http://www.betterworldbooks.com/Info-Discards-Donations-Program-m-4.aspx



Thank you for the link. Their standards are similar to mine and what they don't want (esp. early copyrights, broken bindings, books written in, old curriculum) is what I've got up to my ears!
 
gardener
Posts: 1028
Location: Northern Italy
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There's glue in the bindings usually.

If you could use a table saw and knock off the bindings, I'd say go for it. They'll be soil some day in any case.
W
 
Posts: 88
Location: South Central Mississippi
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I think I may be up for that experiment. I have a whole bunch of old college text books that address subject matter I'm unlikely to ever avail myself to. I think burying them in a hole, throwing cow shit on top them, covering over the mess with dirt and then pissing on it all to settle the dirt has a certain sense of justice to it. Not quite as good as when I laugh in the face of the representatives of the alumni association when they call begging for money, but satisfying nevertheless.

Quite funny how I handle em actually. The conversation goes something like, "Mr. Collins, this is Judy calling from the University Alumni Association. We are contacting you today because we want money for doing absolutely nothing except being people who work at the university you used to attend and having the gumption to do so."

"Well now dearest Judy, does than fine institution you work for still knowingly hand out more parking permits than they have parking spaces and then put ticket books into the hands of low IQed rats with badges to thus extort money from working class kids who families are hocking the family farm so that their children might have a better life whilst you let those other low IQed rats that are here solely to pack your football stadium each Saturday in the fall park wherever the hell they want with nary a consequence?

But then I don't hold a grudge.

But I do hold on to my check book.
 
gardener
Posts: 585
Location: Equatorial tropics
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I'd absolutely go for it. They'll rot wonderfully.

As for the binding glue - silverfish usually eat it, so I'd bet it's fine.

And think of all the knowledge that will go into your garden!
 
Julie Helms
Posts: 110
Location: SC Pennsylvania, Zone 6b
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Vidad MaGoodn wrote:I'd absolutely go for it. They'll rot wonderfully.

As for the binding glue - sliverfish usually eat it, so I'd bet it's fine.

And think of all the knowledge that will go into your garden!




Ahhh, smart plants! Lol. Thanks!
 
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I've read quite a few books that were manure to begin with.
 
Posts: 1125
Location: Central Wyoming -zone 4
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why not simply use the books for mushrooms?
 
Posts: 108
Location: Cave Junction, Oregon
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I have seen folx put paper in so...seems like a bunch of books would certainly hold water..the glue i would not worry about..but some of the ink on the covers might be better kept out. I put a few old phone-books under my last bed.
 
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I'm a printer so.... There are petrolium products in the inks, the kind of alchol that caused blindness in the fountain solution, glue no one should eat in the paper, the paper fiber themselves go through bleaching, book covers usually have UV lacquer or varnish on them. So I'd STRONGLY suggest that you not do this.
 
Julie Helms
Posts: 110
Location: SC Pennsylvania, Zone 6b
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Dan Sprenger wrote:

I'm a printer so.... There are petrolium products in the inks, the kind of alchol that caused blindness in the fountain solution, glue no one should eat in the paper, the paper fiber themselves go through bleaching, book covers usually have UV lacquer or varnish on them. So I'd STRONGLY suggest that you not do this.



Thanks, Dan. That's exactly what I needed to know.
 
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