These days, the word "green" is being bandied about in all sorts of ways. When Kermit sang "It's Not Easy Being Green," he was referring to the color of his skin. Now it could be mistaken for a lament on the difficulties of recycling and saving resources of all kinds for the betterment of the earth. I hear phrases like "my office is green" and no longer assume that the worker is envious of the office next door. But if you are following the latest library trend of book Christmas trees, you would not help but be envious of the creativity used by librarians around the world.
Many libraries are suffering from the lack of a budget for holiday decorations and have found more than one use for their books. They have created trees that require absolutely no water and can be taken apart and reused. The tree above is from Gleeson Library in San Francisco.
From the Old World comes this picture from the University Library of UWM (University of Warmia and Mazury) in Olsztyn, Poland.
Janet Randolph in her Mystery Fanfare blog shows some excellent examples of trees created in this way. I thought I would take a leaf from her book and think about what kind of tree my favorite characters would build.
Ken Bruen's Jack Taylor loves and cherishes his books. He only owns a few due to his somewhat peripatetic lifestyle, but he would honor them with a star. The tree at left is a mixture of tipsy and balance just like Jack himself.
Walt Longmire, a Wyoming sheriff created by Craig Johnson, wouldn't spend the time or effort looking for a tree unless his daughter Cady would be home for the holidays. But I can just see him putting together this collection from his shelf of books because it looks outdoorsy and rustic.
Neil Hamel, a lawyer in Albuquerque, New Mexico spends more time solving her (yes "her," despite the name) cases in novels written by Judith Van Gieson than she does doing housework. After settling down in the evening with a glass of tequila, she would look up at the books on her shelf, realize that there was a method to her collection and she would top it off with a star.
Kathy Mallory is another New York City Police lieutenant who has little free time. Those moments of leisure are usually filled with her somewhat nefarious hacking skills. In Carol O'Connell's novels, she is very methodical and precise in both her private and professional life. She might own only a few books because she lives a minimalist lifestyle. She would definitely spend the time it would take to create this tree with its precision corners.
Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse is quite traditional and would like the red and green displayed in this bright tree. She would have her roommate witch do a spell to get the right number of books in the appropriate colors. Sookie herself has to watch her dollars and would enjoy having a double-use tree.
This last tree is one that I might like in my office.
I couldn't find a tree made out of Kindles, Nooks or iPads, but they wouldn't be green anyway.