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How to donate a box of books without getting the bomb-squad involved.

Jonny Diamond

October 13, 2021, 10:27am

Yes, that happened. A local branch of Oregon’s Deschutes County Library system had to call in the bomb squad to ascertain the nature of a Styrofoam box left on its doorstep. As reported in Newsweek (for some reason!?):

After the authorities and bomb squad arrived, nearby buildings—including City Hall—were told to shelter in place while the Styrofoam container was examined. An X-ray of the container revealed that there were actually books inside.

Sure, we’re living in dangerous, anxiety-ridden times, when the bad actors seem to be everywhere among us, but honestly, it’s not hard to make sure this doesn’t happen! Here’s how:

Step 1
Call the library or bookstore to see if they do, in fact accept book donations: not everyone wants your fervently underlined copy of The Hero’s Journey.

Step 2
Do not put your books in a nasty old Styrofoam cooler: this is where you keep sandwich meat and Coors Lite; nobody ever wants to open a random cooler on the street to see what’s inside.

Step 3
This one is simple: when you drop off a box of books please label it “books.” Theoretically, at least, you should be able to write this.

Step 4
See step 1.

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