LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Chris Wise started selling books online in January. He found out that most books aren’t profitable, but there are thousands sitting on shelves or in boxes in the attic.
So he decided to cut the profit and give these books new life on his own dime.
There is a sort of nostalgia to opening up a book, but often, they’re thrown in boxes or clutter our homes. Some haven’t been picked up in years.
“Books are no good if they’re not being read by someone. They’re just sitting there collecting dust and not being useful,” Wise says.
Wise is writing a new chapter for these forgotten items.
“I want to take the books directly to the people that can get use out of them,” he says.
A couple weeks ago, he made social media pages on Twitter and Facebook called BookRescueLou, using hashtags to get the word out.
Each week he gets more and more requests from owners wanting to part ways. He then takes those books and disperses them back into the community.
“There’s several thousand of them right now in my garage. I’ve got well over a thousand of them,” Wise says. “They were just sitting in someone’s house, probably for years and I’m going to add them to the little free library so they can be used and read by someone else.”
Most recently, Home of the Innocents reached out. He says it brings joy, not only to those receiving these new stories, but for those letting go of them.
“She was excited that they were going to Home of the Innocents where they could be used again instead of taken to Goodwill, a thrift store, or, God forbid, thrown away,” Wise says of a recent donor.
Wise is looking for more organizations to partner with and wants to bring stories to at-need homes.
“Get those books and take them into inner-city schools that don’t have the resources that other schools do,” he says.
For now it’s just one man driving around Louisville, picking up forgotten stories, dusting them off and allowing them to live on. Living by the motto, “used books, new life.”
Wise is looking to get some sort of storage space and moving vehicle to keep up with the large demand.
If you have books you’d like to get rid of or know of an organization that’s in need of reading material, you can look up bookrescuelou.com or search BookRescueLou on social media.