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View Full Version : How to Recycle Books? (UK)



Becca_H
06-08-2011, 06:23 PM
Okay so my day job and my writing life seems to be mixing.

At work, we have a pallet of hardback books. They were abandoned by the author, and we need to get rid of them.

I won't give the title, but basically, they're POD/vanity published. It's non-fiction, with a few sold on Amazon with 5-star reviews (3 of them, all anonymous). The subject is too niche for them to really be worth anything.

I don't really want to just throw them away, but I can hardly donate them anywhere as they have no sale value.

Is there a place that can take self-published hardbacks and do something with them?

brainstorm77
06-08-2011, 06:37 PM
If you cannot get anyone to take them, recycle them.

Becca_H
06-08-2011, 06:38 PM
I don't think we can (at least not where we live) because of the glue used to bind it to the hard cover.

brainstorm77
06-08-2011, 06:40 PM
I don't think we can (at least not where we live) because of the glue used to bind it to the hard cover.

That sucks :(

I know here to recycle a hardcover book you must remove the cover first.

seun
06-08-2011, 07:14 PM
Depending what they are and their quality, your local library might take them. That's a big might. The library I work in gets donated stock galore. 90% is, frankly, crap that goes in the bin. I'm talking books that are falling apart, stained and just plain nasty. This morning, I had a bag of books - the first two were a London street map from the early 70s and a holiday cottage guide from 1996. Either the person who donated them is an idiot who couldn't be bothered to find out where to recycle them or they're insane and actually believe we could make use of them.

I know of a company who take stock like this en masse. Give me a minute and I'll find their details.

ETA: Try either of these two -

http://www.nationwidebookbuyers.co.uk/ (http://www.nationwidebookbuyers.co.uk/)

http://www.betterworldbooks.com/Info-Discards-Donations-Program-m-4.aspx (http://www.betterworldbooks.com/Info-Discards-Donations-Program-m-4.aspx)

brainstorm77
06-08-2011, 07:19 PM
Depending what they are and their quality, your local library might take them. That's a big might. The library I work in gets donated stock galore. 90% is, frankly, crap that goes in the bin. I'm talking books that are falling apart, stained and just plain nasty. This morning, I had a bag of books - the first two were a London street map from the early 70s and a holiday cottage guide from 1996. Either the person who donated them is an idiot who couldn't be bothered to find out where to recycle them or they're insane and actually believe we could make use of them.

I know of a company who take stock like this en mass. Give me a minute and I'll find their details.

ETA: Try either of these two -

http://www.nationwidebookbuyers.co.uk/ (http://www.nationwidebookbuyers.co.uk/)

http://www.betterworldbooks.com/Info-Discards-Donations-Program-m-4.aspx (http://www.betterworldbooks.com/Info-Discards-Donations-Program-m-4.aspx)

This happens a alot, even with charity shops. People donate their garbage as a way to rid themselves from having to dispose of it properly.

seun
06-08-2011, 07:24 PM
This happens a alot, even with charity shops. People donate their garbage as a way to rid themselves from having to dispose of it properly.

Too right. The 90% I mentioned might sound over the top, but it's really not. The decent stuff we get comes from a small group of readers who obviously love books and want to share them. The stuff they donate is almost perfect. The rest we get is shite. My favourite donation was a video tape of something someone had recorded and apparently thought we could issue.

shaldna
06-08-2011, 07:31 PM
there should be book and CD banks in your local recycling centre. I think they are Oxfam ones - at least here they are.

They look like the pic below, and you just put your books into the hatch. They all go to charity. You can call your local council offices to ask where the nearest one is. Most dumps/recycling centres have them now,and some supermarkets have them beside the bottle banks.

http://www.spelthorne.gov.uk/book___music_bank-3.jpg


Also, out local hospital (the Ulster) takes books too. They usually sell them on for a pound to patients and visitors.

areteus
06-08-2011, 07:41 PM
Yep. I say put them in the aforementioned bins... Alternatively, if the hardcover is nice enough, a local theatre may use them for set dressing purposes or maybe a local prop house?

brainstorm77
06-08-2011, 08:33 PM
Too right. The 90% I mentioned might sound over the top, but it's really not. The decent stuff we get comes from a small group of readers who obviously love books and want to share them. The stuff they donate is almost perfect. The rest we get is shite. My favourite donation was a video tape of something someone had recorded and apparently thought we could issue.

What some tend to forget is then the charity has to take on the expense for disposal :(

Mr Flibble
06-08-2011, 08:41 PM
There's also Book Crossing (http://www.bookcrossing.com/) - setting the books free! It's kinda fun - you register the book, pop a label in the front saying that you're releasing the book and its book crossing code, leave it somewhere (train station, cafe, airport etc) and the note asks the person who finds it to either read it (and then release it again) or leave it. If you find one, you can go to the website and register where you found it.

Some books have seen the world :D

Becca_H
06-08-2011, 11:38 PM
Thanks for all your replies. I'll definitely take a look at these links.

We have a book bank near our Tesco. Problem is, we could fill it five times over, with the same vanity published book. I wouldn't want to do this unless they were happy about it.

They want them out the warehouse and I'm the designated book person. Just don't want to see 400 hardbacks thrown away if they could go somewhere better.

Mr Flibble
06-08-2011, 11:46 PM
The local hospital might take some (probably not 400 lol) - mine has a donation thing, so that patients have something to read and they also sell them for charitable donations.

shaldna
06-09-2011, 12:50 AM
you could put them on freecycle or a similar site.

JayMan
06-09-2011, 02:48 AM
This morning, I had a bag of books - the first two were a London street map from the early 70s and a holiday cottage guide from 1996. Either the person who donated them is an idiot who couldn't be bothered to find out where to recycle them or they're insane and actually believe we could make use of them.

Are you kidding? I've been searching for an early 70s London street map and a '96 holiday cottage guide for years. What I wouldn't do to get my hands on an early 70s London street map and a '96 holiday cottage guide. One time, I asked my parents for an early 70s London street map and a '96 holiday cottage guide for Christmas... but they bluntly reminded me that we don't celebrate Christmas :(

areteus
06-09-2011, 12:24 PM
Too many for one of the options? Then put a selection from the pile into each suggestion... some on freecycle, some on bookcrossing, some in the salvation army bins, give some to as many local hospitals as you can get to and so on. Spread the 'joy' :)

seun
06-09-2011, 12:54 PM
Are you kidding? I've been searching for an early 70s London street map and a '96 holiday cottage guide for years. What I wouldn't do to get my hands on an early 70s London street map and a '96 holiday cottage guide. One time, I asked my parents for an early 70s London street map and a '96 holiday cottage guide for Christmas... but they bluntly reminded me that we don't celebrate Christmas :(

I did think about keeping them in case Dr Who turned up and needed to find his way around London in 1972 or fancied a relaxing holiday in the mid-nineties but in the end, I chucked them. :D

Nivarion
06-09-2011, 07:21 PM
This happens a alot, even with charity shops. People donate their garbage as a way to rid themselves from having to dispose of it properly.

Thats honestly shameful. Whenever I have another bookshelf collapse (I buy crappy bookshelves okay?) I know its time for another book donation.

Meaning I've donated a lot of books. And I hope I've never given away a book in bad condition. I'll rebind them if I have to, and I actually see most of the ones I give on the shelves latter.

I remember I once got a donated book from my school library. It was two hundred pages, back when I was little it was a lot, and when I get to the end? The whole of the plot resolution had been ripped out. it was heart breaking at the time.

I haven't rented a book without checking the page count since.

Oh, forgot my reason for posting. :D
As said, you can give them to a theater, and boyscout troops can normally destroy them thoroughly as well.

areteus
06-09-2011, 07:45 PM
I tend to rescue books from charity shops (I buy better shelves but even when they break I never lose a book, I just buy more bookshelves...). I can't help it. I walk past their shelves and they look at me with thier cute little spines and just silently say 'please take me home, its that or the cruel shop owner will have us all put down and sent to the recycling centre to be turned into soylent green'.

Why are you all giving me that funny look now?

AmsterdamAssassin
06-09-2011, 08:27 PM
the first two were a London street map from the early 70s and a holiday cottage guide from 1996.

I don't know if a Seventies map of London would be interesting, but I like maps. When I was in some obscure little bookshop in Strasbourg, I bought a map of Amsterdam before the A10 ringroad was ready [great fun, since there were projects announced on the map that never saw the light of day] and a map of Berlin from the times when there was an Iron Curtain dividing West from East Berlin. Not only historically interesting, but also fun if you got to Berlin with both maps and explore the city. I also have an old map of Paris from when I lived there, filled with pencil notes. To me, maps are interesting souvenirs.

seun
06-09-2011, 10:02 PM
I don't know if a Seventies map of London would be interesting, but I like maps. When I was in some obscure little bookshop in Strasbourg, I bought a map of Amsterdam before the A10 ringroad was ready [great fun, since there were projects announced on the map that never saw the light of day] and a map of Berlin from the times when there was an Iron Curtain dividing West from East Berlin. Not only historically interesting, but also fun if you got to Berlin with both maps and explore the city. I also have an old map of Paris from when I lived there, filled with pencil notes. To me, maps are interesting souvenirs.

I can dig that but with working in a library, I'm not too keen on adding a stinky, stained map that's forty years out of date to our stock. ;)

timewaster
06-10-2011, 12:25 AM
[QUOTE=AmsterdamAssassin;6231798]I don't know if a Seventies map of London would be interesting, but I like maps.
It would be gold dust if you were writing a London novel set then. Cities change quite quickly.

brainstorm77
06-10-2011, 12:32 AM
I can dig that but with working in a library, I'm not too keen on adding a stinky, stained map that's forty years out of date to our stock. ;)

It's like people who donate their stained, dirty clothing with holes to Goodwill, thinking that someone else can use them?

shadowwalker
06-10-2011, 01:20 AM
Are you kidding? I've been searching for an early 70s London street map and a '96 holiday cottage guide for years. What I wouldn't do to get my hands on an early 70s London street map and a '96 holiday cottage guide.

My first thought about that street map was "OMG! Genealogists would give money for that easily!" Stuff like that is a gold mine.

One man's junk... ;)

AmsterdamAssassin
06-10-2011, 11:28 AM
Well, I have to say that I'm not interested in maps that are stained and torn, unless they are of sufficient antiquity to be of interest - a London map of 1870, say, not a map of 1970.

seun
06-10-2011, 12:09 PM
It's like people who donate their stained, dirty clothing with holes to Goodwill, thinking that someone else can use them?

Exactly.


My first thought about that street map was "OMG! Genealogists would give money for that easily!" Stuff like that is a gold mine.

One man's junk... ;)

Well, if I knew any genealogists...

frimble3
06-10-2011, 02:14 PM
Are there any scrapbooking stores near you? They sometimes do that 'altered book' stuff (that so pains me when it's done to 'real' books) and might be interested in free, new hardcovers for classes, etc.

Becky Black
06-10-2011, 10:34 PM
Depending what they are and their quality, your local library might take them. That's a big might. The library I work in gets donated stock galore. 90% is, frankly, crap that goes in the bin. I'm talking books that are falling apart, stained and just plain nasty. This morning, I had a bag of books - the first two were a London street map from the early 70s and a holiday cottage guide from 1996. Either the person who donated them is an idiot who couldn't be bothered to find out where to recycle them or they're insane and actually believe we could make use of them.

I know of a company who take stock like this en masse. Give me a minute and I'll find their details.

ETA: Try either of these two -

http://www.nationwidebookbuyers.co.uk/ (http://www.nationwidebookbuyers.co.uk/)

http://www.betterworldbooks.com/Info-Discards-Donations-Program-m-4.aspx (http://www.betterworldbooks.com/Info-Discards-Donations-Program-m-4.aspx)

Hey, someone out there could be setting a book in London in 1970 and need to know how to find their way around without accidentally writing about some place that wasn't built until 1983 or something. :D

I'm a donater, because I have no more room for books. It's "one in one out". The library gets the hardbacks, the charity shop gets the paperbacks and anything just too battered or otherwise unsaleable goes in the recycling bin. I hate putting them in a "bin" of any kind, but if I don't want to be one of those people who dies when a great wall of books falls over and traps them, I have to do something.

Of course, now I have the Kindle it's going to be less of a problem.