ATG Quirkies: The Great Giveaway and the Temple of Books

bayareabookfest_logo_colorBrowse, sit for a spell — and take a book!  That’s the concept behind the Temple of Books at the first Bay Area Book Festival, in Berkeley.

According to the Berkeleyside news site “the idea was born when Brewster Kahle, director of the Internet Archive, made a startling offer to Cherilyn Parsons, founder and director of the festival. In fulfilling its mission to create a free Internet library by scanning and archiving the world’s cultural artifacts — including books” the Archive has collected tons of books along with lots and lots of duplicates. So many duplicates that “at a party in May 2014, Kahle told Parsons he couldn’t store them any more  … at his 70,000-square foot Richmond warehouse. He offered Parsons 200,000 books for the festival “on condition that they be given away to be read — that they be used as books.”

Thanks to the imagination and creativity of local book lovers, Kahle’s original offer has morphed into Lacuna  “a monumental, participatory art installation being built for the inaugural Bay Area Book Festival to be held in downtown Berkeley.

(The source of ATG Quirkies is John Riley of Gabriel Books)

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