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The Future Library: Why Didn’t I Think Of This?

A Scottish artist named Katie Paterson came up with the best idea ever.

Books, at least the traditional kind, need paper. And did you know paper comes from trees? How ’bout that?

With that in mind, Paterson developed a brilliant project.

A thousand trees have been planted in Nordmarka, a forest just outside Oslo, which will supply paper for a special anthology of books to be printed in one hundred years time. Between now and then, one writer every year will contribute a text, with the writings held in trust, unpublished, until 2114. Tending the forest and ensuring its preservation for the 100-year duration of the artwork finds a conceptual counterpoint in the invitation extended to each writer: to conceive and produce a work in the hopes of finding a receptive reader in an unknown future.

The first writer selected for the project is none other than Margaret Atwood. She’ll take part in a ceremony next year to hand over her manuscript to the trust.

The city of Oslo fully supports the project and are working with the Future Library (the project’s name) to make sure the forest and manuscripts remain protected over the next 100 years.

A tree farm for classic works of literature? Why didn’t I think of this?

Check out more info about the forest here. 

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29 Comments Post a comment
  1. This saddens me too though, because I won’t be around to get a copy!

    Liked by 1 person

    October 13, 2014
  2. Wow I love this!!

    Like

    October 13, 2014
  3. Reblogged this on Literary Wanderings on WordPress and commented:
    This is absolute genius! Way to go guys!

    Like

    October 13, 2014
  4. I’m always fascinated by long-term projects like this. The cynic in me says they won’t be able to keep this up for a century. But the writer/artist in me desperately hopes they will.

    Liked by 2 people

    October 13, 2014
  5. This is amazing! I will share it on my personal blog! (not on wordpress!). As a bookworm, this makes me happy!

    Liked by 1 person

    October 13, 2014
  6. That’s pretty genius actually

    Liked by 1 person

    October 13, 2014
  7. Reblogged this on Random Me and commented:
    Signal boost beacuse this is the coolest thing ever….and not just because it’s happening in Oslo 😉

    Like

    October 13, 2014
  8. Beautiful idea that reminds us all of the environmental cost of books.

    Like

    October 13, 2014
  9. So awesome! Quick–someone invent the time machine so that we can go read the books that are published!

    Liked by 1 person

    October 13, 2014
  10. Parker Kelly #

    Here’s to the future!

    Like

    October 13, 2014
  11. I’d heard about this. Very smart although I too was bummed at the idea of missing out on Atwood’s work. I hope she is as appreciated in 100 years as she is today.

    Like

    October 13, 2014
  12. Thinking about this project sends me into something of an existential spiral. The idea that neither I nor anyone around today will get to see the results of the project freaks me out.

    http://thenovelprojectchronicles.com/the-future-library-project/#more-163

    Like

    October 13, 2014
  13. Wow that is truly amazing. Too bad I won’t be able to see. Unless reincarnation is actually possible. We’ll see I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 13, 2014
  14. This is a really interesting idea!

    Like

    October 13, 2014
  15. Reblogged this on Lolsys Library and commented:
    This is definitely with ‘theme’ of my Blog but it is really is an interesting idea!

    Like

    October 13, 2014
  16. whataboutthis6527 #

    This is fabulous! I love this idea, and I wish I would’ve thought of it, too!

    Like

    October 14, 2014
  17. Reblogged this on judithlesleymarshall and commented:
    This is the second time I have come across this idea. I’ve always said that if I come into a huge pot of gold I would buy a wood to make up for the many trees I have used in my lifetime.

    Like

    October 15, 2014
  18. Conservationist and bookworm in me are super excited what an excellent idea!!!

    Like

    October 15, 2014
  19. Reblogged this on Tugas Manajemen Informatika and commented:
    Genius! Hoping I could be able to see that.

    Like

    October 16, 2014
  20. Oh my, oh my, what a wonderful beacon of hope and faith for the future. That is incredibly potent.

    Like

    October 16, 2014
  21. Elayna #

    Wow, the idea of this is so exciting, but I’m bummed at the fact I probably won’t be there to see this master piece.

    Like

    October 17, 2014
    • Luz #

      Yes,
      I agree this is really good is idea, I really like this post.
      See you later,
      Luz

      Like

      October 20, 2014
  22. Monse #

    This is an amazing idea and I wish I could be there to see it

    Like

    October 18, 2014
  23. Sandy S. #

    This is a very brilliant idea! It’s nice we have people in the world who take an extra step to think about this.

    Like

    October 18, 2014
  24. Selena #

    That’s a really smart thing for them to do. I would love to see a picture when it’s all done.

    Like

    October 20, 2014
  25. This is really smart, but Im sad that no one thought of it sooner, because I might not get to read them.

    Like

    October 20, 2014
  26. Dhivya #

    I think this is a great idea, and after they make the book, they should restart the forest for the next generation.

    Like

    October 27, 2014

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