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I need to start weeding out. I have over 2300 books. I need to clear out space as we plan to move in a year, and I don’t want to move all 2300 books.

But what do I DO with them?? We don’t have a goodwill, just a Salvation Army that I know tosses books.  There are no little free libraries within driving distance. There are no book sales because of Covid.

I could do my own book sale, I suppose, but I’m not sure it’s worth the effort.  Because I will eventually lose my eyesight, I’m focusing on collecting kindle books that can have the font adjusted or audiobooks. I just don’t need 2300 print books anymore.(I plan to keep around 1500) ugh. What do I do??? 

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List them for free on CL or FM?  

Can a school use them? 

I wonder if there are any programs that would want you to ship them to them for free to donate?  I think I have heard about them, but I don't remember any of their names. 

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Half Price Books?  Is there one near you? I don't know how picky they are on what they take or not, but that would be one way to get them gone, make a little cash, and not have the hassle of an actual book sale. 

Book Sale "open house" type thing?  A friend did that; posted on all her social media, email, etc., "hey, I'm selling a bunch of books, here are the prices (fixed prices for paperback, hardback, etc.), I'm not taking pictures or sorting or anything, but you can come between this time and this time, on these days, and get what you want..."  

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Put them on your curb, write FREE BOOKS!! On the outside of the box with a fat sharpie, and post a curb alert on Craigslist that there are boxes of free books on the curb at _______________ address. They’ll probably be gone in less than 2 hours.

Don’t do this on a rainy or snowy day.

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1 hour ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

I need to start weeding out. I have over 2300 books. I need to clear out space as we plan to move in a year, and I don’t want to move all 2300 books.

But what do I DO with them?? We don’t have a goodwill, just a Salvation Army that I know tosses books.  There are no little free libraries within driving distance. There are no book sales because of Covid.

I could do my own book sale, I suppose, but I’m not sure it’s worth the effort.  Because I will eventually lose my eyesight, I’m focusing on collecting kindle books that can have the font adjusted or audiobooks. I just don’t need 2300 print books anymore.(I plan to keep around 1500) ugh. What do I do??? 

Our library is doing a book sale on Facebook -- selling groupings of books for $5. They show them on Facebook and people pay through Paypal, then pick up through the drive through line

 

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I divide things like that into various categories to donate to various places, depending on what they will take.

  • My nieces get anything that isn't way too young for them or a duplicate.
  • Other nice kids' or Christian books to the parochial school(s) for rummage sales.  Though they are not taking anything now, they hopefully will someday.
  • Certain foreign language or cultural books to community organizations or teachers that can use them.
  • Certain charities will pick up boxes of items from our porch on designated days, or you can make a pickup appointment.
  • I have been known to ship things to people (for free) if they want stuff but aren't conveniently located.
  • Thrift stores that take donations.

I'm too lazy to sell stuff, but that could be an option too.

I also leave some things on the treelawn a day or two before trash pickup.  Haven't done it with books, but with furniture and such.  There are people who drive around the night before garbage pickup just to collect stuff they think they can use or sell.  If they don't take it, then the trash men will.  So obviously don't leave anything special out there.

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https://www.sellbackyourbook.com

 

We sold hundreds to this website recently.  Some books they only gave pennies for but others we got $20 or more and it all added up significantly.  Just scan or type in your ISBN and box up the ones they’ll take. When your box is full you can get a shipping label (they pay shipping) for that box and then repeat.  

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You have my permission to throw some of them in the trash/recycle bin. Especially the ones that are dog-eared and the covers Are falling off (like many of my kids books were). 

Library is my go-to for books in better condition. I’ve stored some of the kids favorites in boxes in the attic in case they want to take them when they have their own places. 

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Start your own Little Free Library.

Or donate to the African Library Project.

Or leave them places.  I do that with paperbacks, although since I’m such a SAH person now it’s not happening these days.  But I used to fly to board meetings about 6 times per year, and I’d load my briefcase with paperbacks that I had around that I thought I would not want to read more than once, and read them on the flights, and leave them wherever I finished them.  I’m always glad to find reading material, and I think other people are, too.

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Do you have a local facebook group for giving stuff away free? Ours is called something like a "gifting economy". The idea is reduce what goes to a landfill. You post what you want to give away and there's almost always someone who wants it. I would group the books into a couple of different lots by type. Adult fiction would be in demand here.

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Our hospital has a take a book/leave a book bookshelf in the waiting room.  Maybe you could leave a bunch at something like.  Of course, with Covid, this may not be an option.  Little Free Libraries are also an option.  https://littlefreelibrary.org/  You can type in a zip code to see if there are any little  libraries locally.  I typed in my zip code, and the one I know about wasn't listed, but I found one I didn't know existed.  So my tiny town has 2 Little Free Libraries.


What about one of those big recycling dumpster things?  I know the last thing you want it to essentially throw them away, but if they are a burden this may be a good option.   800 books is a lot of books to find good homes for. 

I've used sellbackyourbooks, but I think they mainly want educational resources, not general fiction.  I could be wrong on that.  It's really easy to use!  Just remember you can only send 50 (I think it's 50, but could be 30) pounds at at time. 

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It’s ok if you don’t find the perfect home for your books. Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to do that when we declutter that we don’t let go of the things burdening us.

You are obviously making an effort, but if it doesn’t work out, that’s ok too!

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Fwiw, having done 3 fully cross country moves in 5 years...1500 books is still an awful lot of books. You might consider carving deeper now. I found it helpful to stack books by topic. I had 15-20 books per topic. I kept the best three on the first culling. I now just have my favorite. I am still getting rid of books monthly and if we had to move cross country again I will purge even harder. 

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2 hours ago, Amethyst said:

 

Library is my go-to for books in better condition. I’ve stored some of the kids favorites in boxes in the attic in case they want to take them when they have their own places. 

My daughter used to work at our library and they tossed almost all of the books brought to them for donations because they didn't have room to store them all.  It was crazy - people would drop off books and, as soon as they were gone, they would go directly into the dumpster.  Maybe it's different at libraries with more room, but that's what happened at ours.

 

19 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Fwiw, having done 3 fully cross country moves in 5 years...1500 books is still an awful lot of books. 

I'm worried about this.  We want to move and DH has a huge book collection.  He's a Modern Library collector as well as a few others, but ML is the main part of his collection.

 

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3 hours ago, MercyA said:

Exactly what I was going to recommend. Better World Books is great. Any books that can't be sold or given away they recycle. They donate one book for every book purchased, and a percentage of their sales goes to charities.

Personally, I am not in favor of Batter World Books; I find their marketing misleading.  They look as if they are a charitable company, but they are a for-profit business.  Basically your "donations" to Better World Books are giving a company free inventory for them to sell.  They sell a book that they can sell at a good price and donate a book they aren't able to sell; in other words, the donation is simply a way of getting rid of somehting they can't sell.  And placing the book in the recycling bin rather than in the garbage is something most people could do to begin with.   The claim to have "reused or recycled" over 370,000,000 books.  The have donated 29,000,000;  So if they are truly donating one book for each sold, the vast majority of the books you give to Better Wold are simply ending up in the recycling bin.  

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25 minutes ago, Kassia said:

My daughter used to work at our library and they tossed almost all of the books brought to them for donations because they didn't have room to store them all.  It was crazy - people would drop off books and, as soon as they were gone, they would go directly into the dumpster.  Maybe it's different at libraries with more room, but that's what happened at ours.

 

 

Pre-Covid, my public library had a perpetual book-sale.  It also had an annual book sale where the Friends take over two large meeting rooms to house donated books.  The library stopped taking donations for most of the last year, but the donations bin has recently reappeared.   The small room used for year-round sales is still locked and dark.    

In my previous city, library staff would sort through donations as they were brought in and give back any they didn't want.  They only wanted books in good condition that they thought would sell.   They were upfront about this and said to take clean rejected books to Goodwill.   Goodwill had a recycling contract, the library did not.   The library could not afford to dispose of vast quantities of unsellable books.    

I am sure my current public library tosses some donated books.  If I suspected most books were being tossed I would take my donations elsewhere.  My goal in giving the books to the library is help them raise funds not increase their costs.

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Are these mainly childrens books? Fiction? Non-fiction?

The cost of moving and the cost of storing books can be high.  Often a replacement can be purchased less expensively than moving and storing a book.  I am the president of a non-profit that has a library as part of its activities; it has been one of my biggest headaches.  Previous board members thought it would be nice to get individuals to donate their books and we could have a "free" library; the maintenance cause are extremely high. We have searched high and low for good places to donate duplicates.  For those of us who love books it is hard to come to terms with, but many donated books simply find their way to recycling bins.  

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I set a big box outside for free and posted it on the Facebook garage sale local site. Someone came and took the whole box.

some of my better books my homeschooling cousin is taking. She’s starting a homeschool library so they’re going with her lol.

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Our family has created libraries for rural African villages through African Library Project - they are thrilled to get the books (and love teaching materials, too), and the organization actually makes it a really easy project, even for teenagers to do. They're still creating libraries through covid, and their website has connections to local drives so you can find out if there's one in your area. 

A library like this one was instrumental to William Kamkwamba's successful electricity project when his family was unable to pay his school fees due to famine (The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind). 

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2 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

It’s ok if you don’t find the perfect home for your books. Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to do that when we declutter that we don’t let go of the things burdening us.

You are obviously making an effort, but if it doesn’t work out, that’s ok too!

MAN - I wish I'd learned this earlier in my life! IMHO, it was the secret to unlocking my happier self. I couldn't let go of "things" unless they had the perfect home waiting for them. Once I "got over it," it was like a switch went off in my brain and I can just toss stuff freely without any burden or guilt attached! The things serviced our family while we needed them, and now it's a new chapter and time for them to go! The FREEDOM!

To the OP: I'd get them out of your house even if it meant taking them somewhere where they *might* be tossed. The priority is freeing up that mindspace/physical space for yourself - do it even if the books don't land in a friendly space. They're books. They'll never know.

IF I couldn't just do that, I'd find the nearest halfprice books and take them there. But - even they tossed half of what I brought in last time and many of them were like new homeschooling textbooks!! 0_0 I think everywhere has had record numbers of donations during COVID (those places that were open for donations, at least) and they are tossing lots of stuff.

I had to really fight the urge to pack those back up and bring them home, but I squared my shoulders and just walked. away. I didn't have the time to find the just-right family who needed those books - they did their work for us in our family - and I just left them there.

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1 hour ago, Bootsie said:

Personally, I am not in favor of Batter World Books; I find their marketing misleading.  They look as if they are a charitable company, but they are a for-profit business.  Basically your "donations" to Better World Books are giving a company free inventory for them to sell.  They sell a book that they can sell at a good price and donate a book they aren't able to sell; in other words, the donation is simply a way of getting rid of somehting they can't sell.  And placing the book in the recycling bin rather than in the garbage is something most people could do to begin with.   The claim to have "reused or recycled" over 370,000,000 books.  The have donated 29,000,000;  So if they are truly donating one book for each sold, the vast majority of the books you give to Better Wold are simply ending up in the recycling bin.  

Re: the bolded: I can see how that could be so. However, they are local to me and I've read a lot quite a bit about them, so I've never had that misimpression. I also buy from them a lot myself (always free shipping, yay!). I love the fact that like Thrift Books and Powell Books, they are getting used books back on the market and into people's hands who can use them. This is a very good thing, IMO. I buy used books from eBay as well and BWB's prices are competitive. 

I don't know exactly which books they donate, but I would imagine that their charitable partners (Books for Africa, Prison Book Program, etc.) would prefer not to get boxes of junk from them and probably wouldn't waste their time and energy taking them if they did. 

I loved, loved, loved their teacher sales each summer where we could fill a box for $10. Heaven. Unfortunately their local storefront has closed. 😞 

Like all organizations which take donations, I'm sure they receive more than their share of damaged, outdated, mildewed, dirty stuff. I donate good stuff and I seriously doubt "the vast majority" ends up in their recycle bin.

Re: recycling. Paperback books are easy to recycle. To recycle hardback books, I need to remove the cover, something that is actually quite difficult. I prefer to let someone who does a lot of recycling handle that for me. 

Now, all of that said, if I'm able I prefer to donate to Mennonite Central Committee, which is also in my area and which IS a non-profit. But BBW is great for the times I have things MCC wouldn't want or when I have huge quantities (like after a co-op book sale). 

p.s. They've also donated $28+ million dollars to literacy programs.

Edited by MercyA
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27 minutes ago, MercyA said:

Re: recycling. Paperback books are easy to recycle. To recycle hardback books, I need to remove the cover, something that is actually quite difficult. I prefer to let someone who does a lot of recycling handle that for me. 

 

I know it varies by area.  Where I live, hardback books can be placed in the recycling bin along with other paper items.  When that is the case, it is more environmentally friendly to toss the book in the recycling bin that box it up and ship it somewhere only for it to have an 80% chance of being recylced.  

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7 hours ago, Katy said:

Put them on your curb, write FREE BOOKS!! On the outside of the box with a fat sharpie, and post a curb alert on Craigslist that there are boxes of free books on the curb at _______________ address. They’ll probably be gone in less than 2 hours.

Don’t do this on a rainy or snowy day.

Yes, curbside works for almost anything around here. 

5 hours ago, WoolC said:

https://www.sellbackyourbook.com

 

We sold hundreds to this website recently.  Some books they only gave pennies for but others we got $20 or more and it all added up significantly.  Just scan or type in your ISBN and box up the ones they’ll take. When your box is full you can get a shipping label (they pay shipping) for that box and then repeat.  

decluttr works the same way. I like knowing that there is a very high chance someone else will wind up enjoying our books (bc they wouldn't pay to ship them if they weren't confident they could resell them). 

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To be honest this is why I sell if I can’t pass on to someone I know wants them.  I’d like to give to charity but I know if they get too much they dump unsorted.  What I actually want is a temperature and humidity controlled library to keep them all but I also need to have a weed out.  We are getting drowned.

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6 hours ago, WoolC said:

https://www.sellbackyourbook.com

 

We sold hundreds to this website recently.  Some books they only gave pennies for but others we got $20 or more and it all added up significantly.  Just scan or type in your ISBN and box up the ones they’ll take. When your box is full you can get a shipping label (they pay shipping) for that box and then repeat.  

I had never heard of this before and I love the idea. I downloaded the free app and have been scanning some of my books. But the most I’ve gotten is $.88...with many offering $.12 or none at all. Obviously we do not have the right type of books. 🤪. Do you mind sharing what type of books you’ve had that have gone for a higher value? 

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1 hour ago, cougarmom4 said:

I had never heard of this before and I love the idea. I downloaded the free app and have been scanning some of my books. But the most I’ve gotten is $.88...with many offering $.12 or none at all. Obviously we do not have the right type of books. 🤪. Do you mind sharing what type of books you’ve had that have gone for a higher value? 

We moved recently and did over 500 books with them.  I think we cleared around $600, so most went for pennies.  My husband and sister actually ended up scanning most of the books while I was sorting through other areas of the house so I don’t know what got the highest value.  I do know that Susan Wise Bauer’s ancient and Middle Ages history books went for a high price.  Box sets went for fairly high prices (Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Narnia, etc). My theology and church history books went for good prices (these were more scholarly texts, not devotionals).  Rare and vintage biographies and living books that are popular on Charlotte Mason book lists also did well.  Classics didn’t bring much.

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4 hours ago, Bootsie said:

I know it varies by area.  Where I live, hardback books can be placed in the recycling bin along with other paper items.  When that is the case, it is more environmentally friendly to toss the book in the recycling bin that box it up and ship it somewhere only for it to have an 80% chance of being recylced.  

I take your point. I just don't agree that they would recycle 80% of what *I* donate when it's in beautiful shape and I know they are currently selling similar things, KWIM? If someone donates an old set of Reader's Digest Condensed Classics, then, yeah, they are likely to be recycled. 🙂 

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28 minutes ago, MercyA said:

I take your point. I just don't agree that they would recycle 80% of what *I* donate when it's in beautiful shape and I know they are currently selling similar things, KWIM? If someone donates an old set of Reader's Digest Condensed Classics, then, yeah, they are likely to be recycled. 🙂 

Yes, I am sure that it varies greatly from person to person of what is donated.  I was just going by their own corporate numbers that 10% of what they receive they sell, 10% they donate, and 80% is simply recycled.  

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7 hours ago, Lucy the Valiant said:

Our family has created libraries for rural African villages through African Library Project - they are thrilled to get the books (and love teaching materials, too), and the organization actually makes it a really easy project, even for teenagers to do. They're still creating libraries through covid, and their website has connections to local drives so you can find out if there's one in your area. 

A library like this one was instrumental to William Kamkwamba's successful electricity project when his family was unable to pay his school fees due to famine (The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind). 

Our family has also done this. Was a very easy process and you only need 1,000 books! We got a bunch of friends involved and drove the boxes to their New Orleans shipping center (you can mail them, but we decided to take the drive over ☺️).

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2 hours ago, Bootsie said:

Yes, I am sure that it varies greatly from person to person of what is donated.  I was just going by their own corporate numbers that 10% of what they receive they sell, 10% they donate, and 80% is simply recycled.  

Yay for it not ending up in landfills! Not sure what else they could do with books that can't be sold or donated. 

ETA: It does seem tragic, especially to book lovers like us! But the more I read about our consumer culture, the more I realize just how much excess there is. Like used clothing...there is way, way more of it than thrift shops can sell. 

Edited by MercyA
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I gave a lot to a local classical school.  What they didn't want, I put in the book bins in grocery store parking lots.  I just had to let them go.  They had served their purpose, and I didn't need the ball and chain anymore.  

I'm sorry about your eyesight.  

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I have put a painful number of books into recycling, and it still hasn’t solved my problem.

I have a stack on the table right now that deserves proper rehoming, and I’ll probably just put some pictures on my homeschool group for free pick up. The “value” of letting them go is much greater to me than whatever money I might be able to get from selling headaches. 
(I’m pretty confident there’s nothing in there that would pull in a large amount.)

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