By Samuel Wightwick

Meet the couple who have become ‘book rescuers’ – taking in up to 15,000 titles a week to save them from landfill.

George Brooks, 36, and partner Sarah, 42, started their journey in 2021 when they came into possession of 800 books that were destined for the dump.

They managed to sell that haul successfully and decided to start to taking in more, which they took to parking lots to auction off.

With locals wanting a more permanent location, they then opened a 3,600sq ft warehouse in Pinellas County, Florida where they now regularly take in 5,000 to 10,000 – and up to 15,000 – books a week.

The couple also recycle the books and create various projects and packages that they then sell on to artists, schools and theatres to give them new life.

They post videos of the process of creating these things on their Instagram and TikTok, @thebookrescuers

George, who does all of this full-time, said: “Our mission is to keep books out of the landfill at all costs and provide as many books as we can to the community affordably.

“Most books come to us via organizations that otherwise would throw them away.

“We work with 35 different libraries, Amazon sellers, estate sale companies, junk removal companies, thrift stores and other used Bookstores.

“We also get about 20% from our amazing community of supporters.”

George and Sarah use the spines of hardcover books for DIY crafts and art, such as canvasses for artists.

They also function as great covers for fiction authors who want to bind their own books, the couple said.

George said: “The issue is that hardcover books cannot be recycled without removing the spine and the cover.

“So using the guillotine, which I and lots of our followers love, allows us to strip the books down to its spine, cover and pages.

“We can then repurpose these elements, ensuring these epic works of art are treasured for many years to come.”

George’s next task is finding a new location where he will be able to take in more donations – and take the business to the next level.

He said: “We have found a new building we would like to move into that would allow us to rescue and rehome tons more books.

“Three months ago I had to turn down a 20 tonne donation that is currently going to the dump.

“Ever since then I have been trying to figure out how to make the move to be able to facilitate receiving and rehoming the vast majority of them.

“We’ve launched a Kickstarter to help fund the move.”

Whilst he cant think too far ahead, George has already envisioned the endless possibilities available to him with the new location.

He said: “I have huge dreams for the new site.

“I want a story time area for kids and a hands-on section for them to learn as well.

“We’ll have a full coffee and tea bar with wine and local craft beers on tap, and a cafe that seats 50 plus with a small stage.

“All of these are going to come to fruition with this new location!”

A page has been set up to raise funds for their new location. It can be found here:

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