Sunday Salon: Spring Cleaning

sundaysalonThere’s a little chink appearing in my bookshelves now that I’ve made a concerted effort to read what I already own rather than go buying yet more books. With those plus a few I decided I really wasn’t ever going to finish, I had a neat little pile ready for disposal yesterday. These are what remain after separating out what I think other members of my family might like (I try not to pass books onto friends because I don’t want them to feel embarrassed if they found it wasn’t their cup of tea wheras my family have no such qualms).

But what to do with the remainder?

In the past I would have just carted the books off to the nearest branch library but since their shelf space is limited and the books would just end up in the storage basement, there didn’t seem point to that.

Given the amount of money I’ve spent on them it would be great if I could get some kind of return but the few second hand shops that remain don’t appear to want the books I have or wouldn’t pay more than a £1 for each of them so it’s not really worth it. Neither is selling them on sites like eBay. So I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll have to just give them away.

I’ve flirted with book swapping in previous years but not had much success in finding people who want my books and have something I want. Plus there’s all that faffing about at the Post Office which isn’t as easy now that so many franchises have closed. I don’t really get the book crossing idea even though I know it has many fans. If I leave a book on a plane, isn’t it likely the cleaning staff who are under pressure to get the craft turned around fast, will just scoop it up into their rubbish bags? If I leave it on a seat somewhere will someone think it’s been forgotten and just leave it there Or maybe they’ll think its an unattended item and call the army disposal squad??

So the easiest option I’ve found is just to take it to a local charity shop. At least they’ll get some income if they manage to sell them plus additional tax benefit through the Gift Aid scheme.

What do you do with your unwanted books when you’ve finished with them?

About BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

Posted on February 23, 2014, in Sunday Salon and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. I can sell newer/popular/hard to come by books to a secondhand shop near my house. From the ones they don’t want I will choose a few to bring to work to put on my library’s book exchange shelf for students. Still others, if they are not hardcover, will get donated to the Women’s Prison Book Project which provides books to women in prison, and all the dregs then go to a charity shop.

  2. A friend of mine works for the CAB and they have book sales twice a year, so a lot of mine go to those. I’ve explored book crossing, but like you I’m worried about the problems the books might cause and also I don’t want all the bother of labelling and filling in the details on the site. We also used to have a very good Oxfam bookshop but that has been closed for the past month because the premises in which it was housed became too expensive.

  3. I donate to a local charity that holds a huge annual book sale that goes towards promoting women’s higher education. They have collection boxes all around my city!!

  4. I either try to trade them in at a used bookstore (and our local independent bookstore also takes used books), sell them at our own garage sale, or donate them (school book sale or library sale)

    • Sadly there are so few used bookshops left in our area. The small indie bookshop where we have our book club meeting used to take used copies but no longer does.

  5. I take my book surplus to my city’s book fair every May. It’s a charity cause.

  6. I pass my books onto friends or family who would love to have them, or used bookshops.

  7. I give my books away. Our library hosts a book sale twice a year and the money that they make from it is used to buy new books or more computers so I figure I am helping encourage literacy times two (for the library and for the person who buys the book.)

    As a school librarian I sometimes donate my books to my own library or I tag books for special/specific teachers that I think would like them.

  8. We have a huge and long-standing book fair every year in St. Louis so I donate my books to that. It’s popular enough that even odd books are likely to find new homes — I love seeing the kind of person who stands around the Computer & Technology table versus the one hanging around the Crafts / Home / Cooking table. The money all goes to early childhood education.

  9. Luckily we have two larger used bookstores that are well founded and will by a good portion of mine when I take them in. After that I then donate them to the local library as they’ll do a book sale to benefit the library (with most being sold for $0.50-$2.00).

  10. I do take lots of my books to charity shops but I also leave them in cafés for others to find and rehome. Living on a small island I have been able to observe this working remarkably well 🙂 Another favourite is to leave them in the communal kitchen at work .

    • Now that’s an idea I never thought of Cleopatra. We have an “interaction lounge” in our workplace which is basically a coffee machine and some big squashy sofas. I could leave them in there. Thanks for the tip.

  11. I donate my unwanted books to the library. Some will be added to their collection and the rest go to the annual sale. My goal each year is to donate more than I purchase 😉

  12. I refuse to buy books. I order what I want to read through my local library. In the past, we used to donate books to our local library, especially when my daughter was young. She was a voracious reader and would go thru several paperbacks in a day….yes,cost a lot, but, hey, was thrilled she loved reading!!!! The library’s children’s section loved receiving all of the “series” books in several different series.

    • Gosh she was certainly a reader if she got through them that fast. I do love the thrill of buying even though I’ve been a library user for as long as I can remember.

  13. I used to put them on Bookmooch but the shipping expense got to be a bit too much. Now I usually pass them on to fellow readers, or give them to booksales where proceeds to a charity I love to support!

  14. I work for a library, so my choice is pretty easy, for our book sale. Like your library, though, the books do end up in the basement for a while. Hopefully they do escape for the summer sale.

    • Now if I worked in a library Bryan I would have an even bigger wish list than I do now. Good to know that they do escape from the dark and dingy corner sometime.

  15. I’m one of those bookcrossing people, and will talk you through anything if you ever get the interest. We have an active local group, with plenty of shelves around town to leave our books on, or post them on to others – I havent done a true “wild release” in years!

    • I never knew there were book crossing groups Nordie. Shows my ignorance there. I thought everything was just left. Would love to know more about how this works.

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