Simplifying things a lot, we could establish that the history of the book begins in the fourth millennium before Christ, with the cuneiform writing on ceramic tablets of the Sumerians, and still continues, more than five thousand years later, with digital media such as advance.The human being reads today more than ever.However, the long-suffering paper book that has transported letters to the portal of new technologies awaits an uncertain future.Which is already a sad reality with regard to the second-hand or second sight, the book already read, the popular, the used pocket volume that practically nobody wants.To be precise, the one that many want to get rid of but do not know how.It is common, before the death of a family member, to face the obligation to empty their home.It is not uncommon for its shelves to contain dozens, hundreds of novels and essays, surely an encyclopedia and a multitude of stories."It's a real brown," explains Luis, who has just gone through this experience in Vilagarcía, "because it gives you I don't know what to throw them in the container, but they don't pick them up in libraries or schools, or anywhere else. ».«It seems good to me that you write about this, but do not even think of giving my name, because they flood me with books».Who speaks is another resident of the Arousan capital, a man who prefers to remain anonymous — "the call effect would be terrible" — and whom we will call Moncho.Years ago, Moncho started collecting used books.«He wanted to give a new life to all those specimens and collaborate a little with ecology.At first he bought them, but in the end they end up giving them to you ».The fate of it, once they pass through his hands, is donation and extraordinarily cheap sale.Ten cents, hopefully“We are talking about the circle of pocket and used books, not the old book, which has a very different market.In this, you hardly pay anything for them.The book that is read loses all its value, ”says the rescuer from Arousa.What can that price be?«Ten cents, twenty at most, and I better not tell you anything about the encyclopedias, which no longer have any value, none at all, not even when making donations».Moncho recognizes that what happens with these huge amounts of books constitutes a small tragedy.“When someone dies and the house has to be cleared of them, often the books are the last thing that remains, a mountain of books that their owner wanted and kept.”A possible solution is found in second-hand bookstores.Some continue to function in Santiago, not to go too far."I know all of them and they don't fit either, there isn't enough space, they select some and the rest they don't want you to leave them there."Public libraries don't offer a much better outlet.“They don't usually accept used books either.They have their budgets and acquire the funds that their users demand, which are usually current.People do not understand it, but it is like that and it has its logic.A hundred thousand books have easily passed through Moncho's hands since he dedicated himself to this.And the flow doesn't stop.Without the collaboration of a handful of friends, who have plenty of space, his endeavor would be unfeasible.«In the house of some colleagues, near Santiago, at least forty thousand volumes remain stored, and in the area of Vilagarcía we keep five floors full to the brim»."Animal Farm", the topWith that and with everything, some volume is being placed.Through the channels that Moncho frequents, but also through the markets, where battered books usually change hands at very affordable prices.What is, within this sea of sargassum made of paper, what has the best way out?The rescuer of books does not hesitate: «The classics and the romantic novel.The authors of the Golden Age, something of Philosophy.And there is a world number one, absolute.Don't tell me why, but it's Orwell's Animal Farm.It's a pass.Pocket can be sold for a euro and a half.To the north of Vilagarcía, the Waldina bookstore opens its doors, a classic of the press and comics in Carril.At the head of the business, Fernando Pereira.«It's true, nobody wants the books, but I have a place and I do accept them.I even pay something, but very little, of course.Practically since 1944, the year her mother founded it as a school supplies kiosk, Waldina started an exchange service.«They were, above all, Western novels, those by Marcial Lafuente Estefanía, but one fine day I said to myself, I'm going to try other books as well».From that moment, Fernando established a model that allows you to take a volume home and, once read, hand it over again and choose another one in exchange for three euros.In addition, whoever buys the newspaper, some pens or some sweets can accompany them with a free copy."Encourage reading, what else?" he replies when asked what drives this cycle.From the library of Vilagarcía"Our fund has more than 40,000 volumes."Mercedes Castro is the director of the municipal library of Vilagarcía.The criterion followed by the public center is not to collect used copies."We don't have space - admits Mercedes - and especially at this time, when we are about to move to the old headquarters of the Liceo-Casino".That, she warns, does not mean that, once established in its new dependencies, the library cannot modify said criteria and accept donations.Of course, any edition or any genre does not work either.The encyclopedias return to the story: «At this time many people do cleaning and want to get rid of encyclopedias that they do not use;that is usually the basis of donations.”As for its funds: «We have more than forty thousand books».from the animal shelter"The encyclopedias do not want them anymore, not even as decoration."It may not seem like it, but there is a direct connection between used books and an animal shelter.The one from Vilagarcía is always willing to accept volumes in a reasonable state with which to feed the four markets that it celebrates every year as a way to raise funds."Yes, they are sold, we even have regulars who return them so that people continue reading them," explains Ángeles Cifuentes.On June 14 and 15, the O Piñeiriño school, for example, will deliver books to those who donate food or toys for dogs and cats.The material will go to the Pinar do Rei refuge.Something similar was recently done in A Escardia.“To me —Angels points out— I feel sorry for encyclopedias.They don't even want them to decorate anymore."© Copyright LA VOZ DE GALICIA SA Polígono de Sabón, Arteixo, A CORUÑA (SPAIN) Registered in the Mercantile Registry of A Coruña in Volume 2438 of the Archive, General Section, on pages 91 and following, sheet C-2141.CIF: A-15000649.