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Disposing of children's/young adult books

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I am in the middle of my usual New Year's cleaning and organizing frenzy. One issue that I need to deal with is the plethora of children's books and young adult books. Now I know that for many of you the idea of getting rid of any of these books is sacrilegious, but my ideas on this have shifted. My youngest is now 14 and I have accepted the fact that he will NEVER read all of those Newberry award-winning books that his siblings read. Shoot, he won't even read Harry Potter, but we are keeping those anyway.


Here is the problem, I have a ton of Sonlight readers and other contemporary sets that need to go. What do you all suggest I do? I have noticed that for the past year, it has been difficult to get a dime more above shipping costs for most of these books even if they are in pristine condition if I list them on the board. They are gone in minutes when I post on Paperback Swap, but the thought of wrapping and mailing 50+ books is daunting because I am not sure I can get 50 books I want on Paperback Swap.


I could just take everything to the library for them to sell, but I really would like to get something for the best books since my idea is to boost our adult classics home library. So what should I do, for example with my dd's collection of Joan Bauer books? There are eight of them and they are pristine. "Lazy me" is battling "greedy for new books me."


Then of course, there are all of the vintage books I collected. :tongue_smilie: Ideas, please.

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Do you have a local used book store that does trade-ins? That's where all our books go. They do not pay actual money, but will give you store credit, typically 50% of what they hope to sell the book for. We have two different ones; one that takes only books in really good condition, sells for 50% of original price and gives you credit for 25%; the other takes books in less than stellar condition and sells them cheap, so you get less money, but can unload more books.


Some books that are homeschooling related or clearly teaching materials I take to our local homeschool group and put them in the weekly giveaway pile. I get no money for them, but sometimes another parent puts something in the pile that I want.


Anything that does not get sold or picked up in playgroup goes to the charity store run by a local community organization.

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I second the used bookstore idea, but you won't get a ton of money there either, but no shipping, etc. I've learned a few things, bring at most two bags of books at a time. Don't bring books in the summer. Weed out any heavily worn, or otherwise damaged books, I think it lowers your overall offer from the store.


For the vintage stuff, if you have enough, it is possible that some book seller might come to you and make you an offer.


However, there maybe some other alternatives for you. Put them into nice little packages and sell them locally if there is either a local email group or a local used sale. Have a special used sale about two to three weeks before the local convention (if there is one).


I donate some books to disadvantaged home schoolers or home schoolers I know who are doing something low paying but I think deserves rewarding.


The smartest thing you can do is box up anything that is a dud and take it off quickly and don't linger over it. Don't try to get money for it, just donate it and get it out of your life.

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Agree with those who have recommended a used bookstore. I was able to get many of the books we needed for TOG this year using the credit I had from all the used books I had taken in. The store I go to will also take books they don't want off my hands and later sell them for charity.


Another option for books other homeschoolers may desire is to sell them in the used curriculum fair at a homeschool conference. I have done extremely well with books and curriculum here in VA at HEAV...of course, this does require that you have such an opportunity near you.



Pamela in VA

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The smartest thing you can do is box up anything that is a dud and take it off quickly and don't linger over it. Don't try to get money for it, just donate it and get it out of your life.


:iagree: :iagree:



I feel your pain though. I get really attached to my kids' old books.

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Better World Books takes donations. I don't know what their policy is on children's books, but I shipped off a box recently. Free mailing too. I buy a lot from BWB , they have good pricing and service, so I feel like I'm paying it forward by shipping them books.


I would try a local used store first though, if you want to make something from a sale. Amazon will also buy some books back, but children's books aren't usually paying anything.

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I find it very frustrating to sell books anymore, as everyone somehow expects you to virtually give it away... yet I never find anyone else selling it that cheaply... :confused1: Anyways, for paperbacks, for my peace of mind I finally got to the point where it was just better for me to just let go of the idea that I was going to make even a fraction of the purchase price back. I now either GIVE them away (and get that great feeling of being a generous person ;)) -- or selling cheaply, but as bulk boxlots (to get rid of loads at a time) -- or getting trade at the used bookstore (and using the trade to buy a few books just for my own fun reading, or as Christmas gifts to relatives).


Below are similar ideas as what previous posters suggest. BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.




- local homeschool classified ads

(our homeschool group has a website with a buy/sell section -- a friend who was done homeschooling had me list 100-150 SL paperbacks and good chapter reading books, grouped by price: $.50/book; $1.00/book; $2.00/book -- and she got a good response -- probably 6 people, each purchasing 8-12 books -- they came to her house to pick up, and in 2 weeks time she made about $50, and then took the rest to the local bookstore and got some trade, and then donated the rest)


- local homeschool curriculum sale/vendor day

(downside: at least here, everyone expects you to virtually give your books away... only the expensive SL books can get more than $1/book price; I finally decided I just needed to clear out those SL books we were done with, so I packaged them up as "boxlots" -- 13 books for a one core for $35, 10 books for another core for $20... etc.; I just wanted the quantity gone, so I did NOT allow cherrypicking -- it was the whole "boxlot" or nothing)


- local craig's list

(a lot of homeschoolers who live further out of town check this out and come into town for specific books or curriculum)


- local used bookstore

(our good one pays 1/4 cover price in trade, less for cash -- but I can sometimes get college textbooks there, so trade can be worthwhile; also keep bringing the books back but on different days and at different times to see if different employees will take different books)


- annual homeschool convention vendor table

(though, the cost of a table may NOT be worth it, if no one buys the books!)


- Amazon used

(for your pristine sets of books, or expensive/quality hardbacks or vintage -- that's fewer of your books to list/ship, and you can usually ask at *least* 1/2 of new cover price if in very good condition)


- donate to Book Samaritan

(box up a big load of paperbacks in a flat-rate postage boxand sending it to Book Samaritan; be sure to first make a list of every book with the cover cost, and you can take a pretty big percentage of the book cost as an income tax deduction -- you usually get more taken off in taxes than you can every get trying to sell for cash -- plus, it's a one-time shipment of a big load, rather than being duck-nibbled to death mailing 1-2 paperbacks at a time; also be sure to ask for a receipt on their letterhead for proof of donation!)



- donate to local ....

(public library; your favorite charter or private school library; tutoring center; children's home; Good Will; etc. -- same as Book Samaritan, only no postage involved)

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I've been hanging on to books since forever while putting them in different categories/bins: books for babysitting (for my 12 y/o DD who is dreaming of the day when she is old enough to babysit), books I'll read to my grandchildren (This will be a long way off, prayerfully, because my oldest is only 18), books/curricula I might one day use, and books to sell. Some of the books to sell have been hanging around for years... NOT selling.


However, I agree that donating the books is probably the best thing to do. And do it quick, fast, and in a hurry before you begin having regrets. :laugh:

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I have friends who do Teach for America, and they are always in need of books in underprivileged communities. I myself had a student (one of the best students in that class) who admitted that only books at home were a Bible and a phonebook. The students' lack of reading experience negatively affected their attention spans and level of outside knowledge, IMHO.


Since poor high schoolers read at about a 4th to 8th grade level, the Newbury books and other childhood favorites are good fits. These books are also great because they open the kids up to new worlds.


If you're feeling charitable and want an address of a North Carolina PS teacher who would love donated kid/young adult books for her classroom/school, PM me and I can give it to you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yet another suggestion is to have a list of free books available for purchasers of other big ticket items you're selling on the Classifieds board here. So, with your The Teaching Company - The Art Of Critical Decision Making DVDs and Saxon Algebra I Homeschool Set, you could provide a list of FREE books with purchase and provide one book for each $15.00 purchase. This is what I do.




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