Scoring free books at the UB: ‘There are always heaps about sex’

Filled sporadically when the library needs to get rid of books, the ‘free book’ trolley on the first floor landing of the university library is a hit with curious passers-by. UKrant spoke to some of the people perusing the trolley. Which books catch their eye?

Erik, 23, history master, Dutch

Erik

‘I’ve taken three books with me. They’re all in Dutch and sort of conform to a theme. I have one on the Spanish Civil War, another which is a book of May Day songs and a very esoteric one about Russian educational traditions before the Russian Revolution. That one I took as a gift for my thesis supervisor. My thesis was also about Russia during that period, so that was a nice bit of serendipity. I like the idea of the trolley and I always check it out when I wander by.’

Alannah, 22, University College Groningen, Irish

Alannah (right)

‘It’s funny actually, this is the first time I’ve had a look at the trolley. I don’t read Dutch, so some of these titles I won’t be taking with me. But I’ve actually found some nice newspaper clippings from the 80s squirreled away inside one of the books. I think that sort of tells you everything you need to know about the trolley’, she says laughing. ‘Most of the titles are pretty specific. Look: child psychology, seizures…’

Vueke, 21, University College Groningen, Dutch

Vueke (left)

‘The only books I ever take are those with nice covers. Art books are always a good score when they’re available. I really like the initiative, because even if you don’t take anything there are some pretty funny titles. I’m not sure who selects the books, but maybe they’re trying to tell us something, because there are always heaps of niche books about sex.’

Dorien, 19, media studies, Dutch

Dorien

‘I never read them, but I cut them up. I make jewelry out of the paper. I carefully cut out words or phrases that look nice and roll them into beads. I think the last book I used to make the beads was about theology. The old books are the best, I find, because the quality of the paper is much better. I don’t take books all the time, but I’m often in here around the exam period and when I am, I see what the trolley has to offer.’

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