These hollow-log bookshelves were erected in Berlin a few years back to help encourage the reuse of books. The German team behind the project explains:

The project adopts the idea of putting up a bookcase in a public space, in which people could release their used books to be picked up by others. This way of free dissemination, called ‘bookcrossing’, is by now a worldwide movement organised in a central database ( Registration of books enables following their travels through the world and communication about the books.

In other words, books DO grow on trees! If you want something to read, just go pluck it from the book orchard.

This particular project’s over but the Bookcrossing community’s still very active. In the last 30 days, 6,688 used books have been released into the world in Germany alone. The United States released the second-highest number of books, 5,323. Our most active bookcrossing state is Minnesota.

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None of our bookcrossing sites look like libraries for fairies, though, and someone should probably get on that. Borrowing books from a hollowed-out tree library on the street is clearly better than borrowing books in any other way. Every city needs a public book tree. Go get a log!

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