Mansfield University Christmas tree is one for the books

MANSFIELD – What’s green and white and read all over? The Christmas tree in Mansfield University’s North Hall library.

The tree:

Is composed of 700 books on the outside.

Is stabilized by several hundred books and video tapes inside.

Contains 490,000 pages, making it the wordiest Christmas tree in the world.

Is 10 feet high and 8 1/2 feet at base.

Weighs about 10 tons (it sits on the ground floor).

Is lit by 1,400 thousand holiday lights that stretch up the library’s six-story atrium.

The fact-filled tree’s back story is one of recycling. The books were in storage, waiting to be tossed last year when librarians Nichole Book and Amanda Sanko decided that the green covers could be turned into a huge evergreen. They constructed a small tree. This year they decided that even book trees can grow and branch out.

The reaction has been positive.

“People on campus tours always stop, ask questions and take pictures,” Sanko said. “One of our students said ‘I love Christmas and I love books … this is the most perfect Christmas tree!’ “

“Another student asked if we could build another one,” Sanko continued. “I said we do have enough books remaining to build a second one, but I wasn’t sure where we would put it. She suggested her dorm room.”

The mere presence of the tree speaks volumes. And everyone who sees it agrees that this is one tree you can judge by its covers.