Don’t throw away your books ! Take the advice of Paris City Hall

Dumpster full of books and journals headed
for the landfill in
the courtyard of the Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville
de Paris
Friday, 12 June 2009
Photo : All rights reserved

18/4/10 – Paris – Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris – If you google the sentence “Don’t throw away your books”, the first result to pop up is a page on the Paris City Hall website (
It offers the following advice, to which we subscribe one hundred percent : “Are your bookshelves overflowing ? Don’t throw away your books, share them with associations…” There follows a list of charitable associations which would be happy to receive them in good condition, no matter what the subject. One could of course include any library, even those at universities.

The presence of this page, pointed out to us by an attentive and astute reader, is particularly amusing when remembering all the convoluted explanations justifying the dumping of some of the works and bound journals by the Bibliotheque Historique de la Ville de Paris (see article in French). How contradictory to find this beautiful imperative solemnly pronounced on the city hall website : “Don’t throw away your books”, when Paris is in fact trying to justify just the opposite within one of its own institutions. It is thus our great pleasure to now pass on this wonderful advice to Emmanuelle Toulet, director of the BHVP, and her administrative care.

Version française

Didier Rykner, dimanche 18 avril 2010

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