A garbage man spent so much time salvaging books from trash bins of wealthier neighborhoods that he created a whole library out of them for his own neighborhood.
It took Jose Alberto Gutierrez of Bogota, Colombia 20 years of saving discarded literature to build a free community library of over 20,000 books, which he’s named “Strength of Words.” It all started when he first found a copy of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina tossed in the garbage—it created a “snowball effect” that inspired him to fish out more and more.
South Bogota is a less fortunate area, so finding freely available books is a rarity. Because of Gutierrez’s efforts, however, local children now have a gamut of chucked away resources at their disposal to help them with their homework.
But because his home has become filled to the brim with books, he’s begun shipping them to other remote areas without any access to libraries, as well as fighters being demobilized in Colombia’s peace process.
“The more books we give away, the more come to us,” he told BBC.
Gutierrez, who never even studied further than primary school, has been aptly nicknamed The Lord of the Books, and we’re not sure anyone could be more deserving. Watch him save the world one page at a time in the video below.