Sunday, February 21, 2010

Monday Musings: Keeping Books

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about a keeping books.

Do you keep all the books you ever buy? Just the ones you love? Just collectibles? What do you do with the ones you don’t want to keep?

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I could not possibly keep all the books I buy. I buy, on average, 10 books a week. I live alone in a three bedroom house that has bookshelves in most rooms. But, even so, I don't have the shelf space to keep everything. Here is a look at my bookshelves as of Jan. 9, 2010.

I only keep books that I think I will read again someday or books that are parts of a series or by favorite authors. When my shelves get too full I go through the shelves and remove those books that no longer qualify as something I might want to read again.

I read a lot of middle grade and young adult books. When I finish them I almost always donate them to the school media centers where I work. Since I am the librarian in charge, I can add them to my collections. I know that others have reported that books donated to their public libraries end up in the Friends of the Library annual sales rather than on the shelves of the library. I do keep some of the MG and YA books if they are by authors I already collect like Tamora Pierce or Sherwood Smith. I have probably already purchased those books for my media center with my school budget. If I buy the book, I will get to read it sooner than if I add it to a school book order and I gain the tax deduction for donating the book too.
The adult books are more of a problem. If I don't want to keep an adult book after I have read it, I don't know what to do with it. Turning it in to a used bookstore for credit doesn't really help me out. My local used books stores are genre specific. The one that does romance doesn't accept books more than a few months old and the other one only does science fiction. Also, I have a hard time using up the credit I receive because I probably already own anything that they offer that I might want to read. I have over $1500 credit at one used bookstore and no way to use it.

I would like to give the books away to people who might enjoy them but most of my friends are not readers. I know that there are internet sources to do that but haven't investigated them yet. I don't really want to swap books. I want to get rid of books that I don't want. I will admit that I have been throwing books that I don't want to keep in grocery bags and then throwing them in the trash when I'm tired of looking at the bags.

Now that I have a couple of blogs, I could hold contests. The problem is that the blogs focus on YA and kidlit and I already have a way to recycle those. I need to find and follow some blogs that cater to readers of adult books (by which I mean books not designed for children and adolescents rather than erotic books).

Any suggestions on ways to recycle the books that I don't want to keep on my shelves would be gratefully accepted. I hate throwing them in the trash but haven't found another way to get rid of them.


  1. I find it very hard to get rid of books that I don't want (I'm a horder LOL) but I really do need to have a clear out as I have far too many books at the moment.

    I wouldn't be able to throw books in the trash but we have a lot of local charity shops that accept donations so will probably end up giving a lot of books away for them to sell. I was also thinking about going to a few boot fairs in the summer to earn some cash by selling some.

    I did see someone else post a list of books that they wanted to get rid of on their blog. They were giving them for free but the people who wanted them had to pay the postage costs. I've also seen other blog posts where people were selling books they no longer wanted.

    I don't know if any of those options would help you at all? I hope you manage to find some kind of solution :o)

  2. throwing away books...I don't even want to hear that at all ever, horrible.

    Anyway...I don't mind if the book I donate get sold in the library sale, at least the money from the sale is benefiting the library still

    Here is Baltimore we have something called the book thing, where you can donate any and all books you want and browse through other books other people don't want, all free...maybe your area has something like that.

    Also there is that is pretty awesome, its not genre specific and if you subscribe to the discussion board wish list posts you get a ton of the newer books out.

    I am currently culling my shelves too...a lot of my books went to the library and to my collection for soldiers over seas.

    Hope you find your constant.

  3. My bookcase is full, too and I should really give my books away. And ten books a week? Thats a lot of books!

  4. I would definitely drop the books off at a thrift store or the library to be sold to someone else, at least the money goes to charity, if not the books themselves. Also, I know of a charity organization that sends books overseas, they also have a bookstore where profits help with their shipping costs. of course you would have to ship the books, but I'm sure it would be tax deductible. check it out here:

  5. I am a book collector as well. I find it very hard to get rid of books but when I need to here are some of my ways :) -- a book swapping site. You do pay to ship books to people that want them and you get points for doing so. You can always donate your points to other members - there are quite a few libraries signed up and your points could benefit them. Or, not that it would help you much - you can use the points to get more books :) -- another book swapping site - point based - a little more structured then BookMooch but still good. -- I sell books here. I usually don't make a ton of money but I know the books are going to people who want them.

    Library donations -- for friends of the library sales. If you know your library doesn't need them maybe try another town.

    Yahoo Group Freecycle -- There are groups all over the country. Freecycle is basically a forum where people post things they don't want (in your case books) and to see if anyone else will take them. I don't know if there is a group in your area but I would say it's worth checking out.

    Craig's list -- There are probably tons of people in your area that would buy your books. Especially if you sold them in large lots.

    Your blog -- I'm an adult and I read both YA and adult books. Contest are nice but you could also see if anyone out there would be willing to pay for a box of books shipped to them.

    Don't know if this helps at all! Good luck!

  6. I give books to my local library for their used bookstore or annual fundraiser sale.

  7. I have books that are not of my genre, or are not in the best condition, but I can't even fathom of throwing them away. Here's Mine.

  8. I have no suggestions...I am here to read everyone else's! :-)


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