Thanks to a chance meeting at Whole Foods in Union Square, I have found a solution, at least for New Yorkers: ReLit.org
Started by a group of volunteers, ReLit.org has kiosks at two Whole Foods outlets and at Brooklyn's Invisible Dog Arts Center, where anyone can drop off books to be distributed monthly at subway stops.
Their mission statement: We want to encourage and promote reading to all age groups and provide free and easy access of reading to do so.
At the same time, we wish to discourage throwing out vast quantities of unwanted books that never get recycled properly. We hope that our program will facilitate in the sharing of these unwanted items that no one in the city has room to keep and provide not only a cost-free but also an environmentally friendly reading option.
As someone who comes from a family of librarians and educators as well as a firm believer in upcycling, I applaud this group's efforts and hope this grassroots movement gains momentum and spreads to other geographical areas.
Check out their site: http://www.relitny.org
2012 Rosemary Flannery All Rights Reserved