Garbageman Creates Free Library with 20,000 Books Found in the Trash

One man’s trash is truly another man’s treasure!

Out in Bogota, Colombia, garbageman Jose Alberto Gutierrez would see books in the trash all the time from wealthier neighborhoods. Not wanting to see them go to waste, he began saving those books. Using the literature he collected, Jose began building a free library in his home for folks in his own neighborhood!

Jose collected his first book, a copy of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina20 years ago, and has since collected over 20,000 books in his library, named “Strength of Words!”


Watch more of Jose’s story below…

Literally every single room of this guy’s house has books, and he opens up his home to kids in his community on the weekend. It’s significant because his area is a poorer area, that doesn’t have books as readily available as other neighbohoods. However, Jose’s work now gives local children an opportunity to read and learn more as well. He’s even started shipping books to other areas that don’t have many books either!

I thought this story was so cool and interesting. For one thing, it shows that books should really be cherished. Even if you do want to get rid of some, consider them donating to your local library or elsewhere for others to read. The fact that Jose thought of creating a library for people in his own community is incredible and moving!

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