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Reno campus' towering holiday book tree (no reading involved)

December 20, 2011|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • The Christmas tree at the Unversity of Nevada, Reno, is made of 348 old books.
The Christmas tree at the Unversity of Nevada, Reno, is made of 348 old books. (Theresa Danna-Douglas…)

One librarian, two helpers and 348 old books equals one huge holiday book tree. Usually those elements would add up to books stacked neatly on a shelf, but campus librarian Erin Fisher and others instead constructed a 9½-foot green "tree" in the atrium at the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The tree, made from pre-1950 National Union Catalog reference books with evergreen covers, grew from 10 books placed in a circle. Then the stacking began. It's a stunner, quite sturdy-looking (I did a quick perusal of "book trees" online and found a lot of sloppy ones, especially if you open the pages of books to stack them), and who doesn't like books?

"It may look simple enough, but most book trees look like pyramids," building operations manager Alden Kamaunu said in a statement. "We wanted ours to look like a real tree. There was a lot of trial and error." The little critter on the top is Wolfie, the school's mascot, wearing a Santa Claus hat.

The tree will be on display in the library until early January, but maybe you want a DIY book tree? Here's how they built it in three hours: Contact: Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, (775) 784-4636

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