I love reading, and have been a reader all my life, so it’s weird for me to say this now … but I don’t have bookshelves and own maybe 10 books total. And I’m here to tell you – you should consider doing the same.
So what do I do with all my books?
- Donate my books to the local library. This helps stock my library with copies of good books, especially if they are deficient in a certain genre – or not diverse enough (which is often the case). Usually, my process goes like this – I want to read a book – I check the library to see if I can get it. Yes – Great. No. I buy it – maybe the paperback, might be hardcover. I read it. I donate it to the library.
- Sell them. After our last move last August, I sold a lot of my remaining collection to Half Price Books. Of course I used the money to buy more books … read them, and then give them away to the library.
- Trade them. Using Paperback Swap or BookMooch. This is a great way to share books with people who will care them and love them and give them lots of attention. And I can do the same.
Would you eve consider giving away all your books?
// Comments //
I will never give away ALL my books. There are about a half-dozen that I loved so much I want them around in case I ever want to re-read them and a few (or a lot) ‘seasonal’ books I keep….holiday stories, baseball and player history books, etc.
But I am making an effort to give away more books. I was donating to our local library friends for the annual book fair, but I found out last month that they can’t sell my ARCs and were just discarding them. (I know I’ve bought ARCs at book fair in the past, but they must have just slipped through!) Anyway, I am looking for an alternative to just pitching them. Any suggestions?
I don’t do Book Mooch…I used to but it seems they never had books I wanted available and I was spending more than I wanted to shipping books to others, so I stopped.
Christine @Buckling Bookshelves
I have used the ARCs Float On database to find schools that would love to get ARCsas donations. You might luck out and find one near enough to you to drop them off. I did mail mine, but I could send a bunch together, so media mail shipping wasn’t too bad and I didn’t have to send them out one by one, paying separate shipping for each book. I don’t know what types of ARCs you have, but in my experience, high schools were willing to accept adult books, so it’s not necessarily just for YA or younger — just ask and they will let you know!
Another option might be to reach out to the English department of local schools. I liked the convenience of the database though because they were all schools/teachers that had a stated interest in ARCs and were actively seeking donations — ARCs are definitely harder to pass on than other kinds of books, so I really liked the ease of donating this way.
Thanks! I’ll check that out!
@Kim – school libraries would love ARCs! Also try nursing homes, any foster care agencies.
Oh wow, 10 books? That low number is so shocking. You might be the only reader I know with so few. I definitely support the idea of donating them to the library. I just gave mine 4 stuffed bags the other day.
Just signed up at HPB! Hope they open one here in San Diego County soon! Many thanks for linking up at Small Victories Sunday!!!
I usually give my books to the Friends of the Library so they can sell them during the two book sales they have per year. The proceeds go to supporting library programs. (I can’t donate books directly to the library.)
I keep books I know I am 100% going to reread. And I very rarely, if ever, buy books now. I mostly buy from FOL and redonate when I’m done.
@Akilah lo e tour way of supporting your local library!
I was forced to get rid of a lot of books when I moved. But staying in one place brings out the hoarder tendencies. But I find that it’s much easier to let go of books now … I think it’s only a matter of time I’ll treat books like a movie – experience and let go!
@Guitless Reading – I think of it as making sure other people experience my favorite books 🙂
I don’t know if I could give away ALL of my books but I am working may through my shelves with the goal of getting rid of a lot of them. We don’t own our house so moving a million books on a regular basis is a huge hassle.
@DenisF – I still keep a few that I want to pass on to my kids. If I was into re-reading, I’d probably keep a few more.
nordie@writing about books
My shelves are split into two:
Books I would never give away (Hardback Terry Pratchetts, Persephone Greys etc)
Books I’m going to give away. Usually when I’ve read them, but sometimes not. Most of them are via Bookcrossing, where they are registered on the website, then left wherever (coffee shops, dedicated bookshelves, park benches etc),
I get people giving me books to get rid off, as they know I will find a way. There are some people I know, where English isn’t their first language, where they are desperate for books in English – I give them first refusal on any new book I get, any that remain go onto bookcrossing (the person who wants the books has a bookshop and he plans to sell them, which goes against principal of bookcrossing).
@nordie – that’s awesosme. I’d love to see what you have on your “never give away” shelf.
Christine @Buckling Bookshelves
Unfortunately, my library doesn’t accept donations, but that’s a great idea for any libraries that do. I haven’t given away all my books, but I did do a pretty good culling earlier this year and am trying to be much more selective about what I buy (with varying degrees of success over the months!) I was really happy to find schools that wanted books for their classrooms through the ARCs Float On database – I started there because I did have some advanced copies to pass on, but in my experience, the teachers were happy to also receive finished copies and high schools accepted adult books as well as YA. Of course, there’s always local schools too, if you can find a contact person and there is a need for books.
@Christine – I didn’t even think of school libraries! That’s an awesome place to donate books to.
Sarah's Book Shelves
I’m doing this exact thing now…except I’m going through boxes of old books giving away tons. I’ve been a 100% e-reader for years now, so I don’t have any physical books from stuff I’ve read in the last 5 years or so. It’s almost like my book collection was frozen in time.
@Sarah I was moving toward purchasing mostly eBooks too, until I realized that I couldn’t donate them once I was finished. I don’t purchase a lot of books, so I went back to buying physical copies.