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gettingby
09-26-2015, 11:20 PM
I'm sure all of us have many, many books. I have too many and need to get rid of some. It's more like I have to get rid of a lot. I just don't have the room for them. Not only are my bookshelves beyond stuffed, but I also have random stacks and piles. Not to mention a few boxes in the garage from my last move. I don't want to be a hoarder. To have things look more normal in my house I need to get rid of more than half my books. Does anyone have tips on downsizing a book collection?

Osulagh
09-26-2015, 11:25 PM
Give them away.

mirandashell
09-26-2015, 11:25 PM
There's no such thing as too many books.

But ... if you must do this... then check whether your local library would like them. You can also spread the load around your local charity shops.

mirandashell
09-26-2015, 11:26 PM
And if you want advice on how to pick which books to give away, it's quite simple. If you haven't read it in over a year, it goes.

mrsmig
09-26-2015, 11:32 PM
Donate, donate, donate. Libraries, schools, charities. Send 'em to soldiers deployed overseas. Or give 'em to a homeless shelter. Or a prison.

Brightdreamer
09-26-2015, 11:35 PM
... check whether your local library would like them.

Your local library will likely only want them if they're in good shape (no mold, no water damage, no broken spine, etc.) Even then, they may take them, but unless there's a demand or need, they'll likely end up recycled or sold off by the pound to surplus shops. (I say this as someone who has helped sort culled library material.)

I'd suggest donating them if they're in readable condition, or recycling/trashing them if not. (Some places charge fees for hardcover book recycling, I hear.) Are there any Little Free Libraries nearby you can give them to?

mirandashell
09-26-2015, 11:45 PM
Ermmm..... that might be the case where you are but here, libraries have had their funding cut back so much that they will snap your hand off for books in a decent condition.

gettingby
09-27-2015, 12:01 AM
Thanks, guys. This is pretty hard. I rarely reread books so they are still all in pretty good condition. I do have quite a few hardcovers because sometimes I have to read stuff when it first comes out. And then there are the books that I never got to. I can never just buy one book when I'm at the bookstore. I'm trying to be better about this. Kindle is helping me from acquiring too many new physical books. Except I just bought four new books last week. I will read all four of those, but I almost feel guilty giving away books I haven't read that I've held onto for years. There are just so many newer books I want to read.

Also, do you hang onto literary journals. I'm torn when it comes to these. I have gone back and reread stories in those, but, again, I just have too many.

Does anyone know of a charity that will book up books from your house? I don't have a car so getting the books out of the house and donating seems like it could be a problem. But I would like to donate them.

Maryn
09-27-2015, 12:10 AM
It'll take some phone calls to see what charities will do pick-up for donated goods. It changes depending on their funding.

Another sorting method nobody's mentioned is donating any book you will easily be able to find in any decent library. Keep those harder to find.

William Haskins
09-27-2015, 12:13 AM
prison.

yes. also county and city jails.

mrsmig
09-27-2015, 12:14 AM
In many areas of the US, GreenDrop (https://www.gogreendrop.com/) will come to your house to pick up donations. You'd have to box them up and put them outside (on your porch, stoop, etc.), but they do the actual hauling. They work on behalf of the Military Order of The Purple Heart, the National Federation of the Blind, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul - you can pick which charity you'd like to donate to.

jjdebenedictis
09-27-2015, 12:25 AM
Does anyone know of a charity that will [pick] up books from your house? I don't have a car so getting the books out of the house and donating seems like it could be a problem. But I would like to donate them.It's not a charity, but it's adjacent to a charity on the feel-good scale, because it goes to individuals who really want them but usually can't justify the cost -- consider listing them on your local freecycle.org (https://www.freecycle.org/)website.

The rules for Freecycle are only that the item must be legal, you must be offering for free, and the person who wants it must come pick it up from you.

I'd suggest posting an ad for complete series (I got rid of my Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings books this way). Then take the remaining books and create small groups of books you think would all appeal to one person (e.g. a collection of military Science Fiction, a collection of romances, etc.), and create a separate ad for each group of books.

You might be able to get rid of the literary journals too, this way. Box them up and put them in a separate ad. It might not go very fast, but you never know. I once had someone from Freecycle jump on the chance to get a box of miscellaneous, used-but-clean plastic forks and knives from me.

mirandashell
09-27-2015, 12:57 AM
Freecycle is a good idea. I got rid of loads of shredder paper through that site. A woman picked it up for chicken bedding.

The thing is about wondering how to decide.... once you start making excuses for keeping a book, you end up keeping all of them. You have to be ruthless. Had it more than a year and haven't read it yet? Then it's not a book that excites you, is it? Trust me, I know how it feels. Which is why I still have all of my books.....

WriterBN
09-27-2015, 08:22 PM
I feel your pain, gettingby. Just over 2 years ago, I had to pack up our family and move halfway across the country with a small POD to carry our life's belongings. Books, being heavy and taking up space, had to be sacrificed. That was the one consideration that finally pushed me over the fence toward reading more e-books.

DiloKeith
09-27-2015, 10:25 PM
I can't think of much to add other than a vote for Freecycle if you can't get a charity to come. Freecyclers will come to your house and you can say that they must bring their own boxes. Don't worry about sorting if you're busy.

I still prefer print, so my house is quite full. Most books are in carefully labeled boxes with various destinations in mind -- selling, giving, re-reading...

While not practical (and I'd rather donate), these ideas were fun -- furniture made from old books (http://www.inspirationgreen.com/books-as-furniture.html)

AW Admin
09-27-2015, 10:50 PM
Your local public library likely has a Friends of the Library; check the Website of the library.

They may be willing to come pick up books if you have them ready to go.

Be aware that they may resell some, to earn funds for the library.

Laer Carroll
09-27-2015, 11:42 PM
I give them to my public library. It has a permanent book sale & people get them for $1.00. A good choice for me. They go to someone who will read and maybe love them.

lianna williamson
09-27-2015, 11:54 PM
I live in a rural area where many of the libraries in lower-income towns rely on book donations. Anything they can't use for circulation, they will sell to raise $ for the library. Depending on where you live, you may be able to give your books to a library that will be thrilled to have them.

Claudia Traveller
09-29-2015, 12:06 AM
I've moved country a few times, so I've had to be incredibly ruthless with my book collections over the years. First, I offer them to friends - then, I give the rest to charity shops. The ones I can't bear to part with get boxed up and shipped with the rest of my personal possessions. I'll never replace printed books for ebooks.

Latina Bunny
09-29-2015, 03:00 AM
Like others have said, donating them would be a good idea.

I also give away my books to my local, indie used bookstores. They always appreciate more books, and I get "store credit" (meaning I get to buy used books at half price).

cmhbob
09-29-2015, 03:47 AM
Prisons typically require a book to come direct from a publisher.

Consider a Little Free Library, too. There's a thread around here somewhere...

Captcha
09-29-2015, 03:51 AM
I ended up burning a lot of mine. I know, I'm a book-burner, but... nobody wanted them!

And it WAS really liberating to get rid of the clutter. I have one bookshelf, now, maybe 10 linear feet of books? Everything else is digital, and I LOVE it.

Be strong, gettingby - you can do this!

MaryMumsy
09-29-2015, 04:16 AM
- furniture made from old books (http://www.inspirationgreen.com/books-as-furniture.html)

The furniture, not so much, but the room divider wall was awesome. Exposed books instead of exposed brick!


I ended up burning a lot of mine. I know, I'm a book-burner, but... nobody wanted them!

And it WAS really liberating to get rid of the clutter. I have one bookshelf, now, maybe 10 linear feet of books? Everything else is digital, and I LOVE it.

Be strong, gettingby - you can do this!

Oh, Captcha, you couldn't find anyone to take them? Please say you burned them in the fireplace/stove to save wood. I couldn't even say how many linear feet I have, at least 150. To say nothing of the stacks here and there.

I used to give mine to the local indie used book store, and didn't even bother with the store credit. Now I give them to a friend of a friend who sells used books online for a living. Mine are 99.9% hardbacks. If he clears even a couple of bucks a piece on them, good for him.

MM

Captcha
09-29-2015, 04:34 AM
Oh, Captcha, you couldn't find anyone to take them? Please say you burned them in the fireplace/stove to save wood. I couldn't even say how many linear feet I have, at least 150. To say nothing of the stacks here and there.

MM

Nope, nobody wanted them. I did burn them in the woodstove, so they helped heat my house. Surprisingly hard to burn books, really - not emotionally, just practically. They don't want to burn unless they're crumpled up.

Becky Black
09-29-2015, 12:17 PM
My local library is now volunteer run and donation funded, so I'd definitely want to give some to them. Generally hardbacks and maybe paperbacks, in top condition and especially high quality ones. Library books obviously get a lot more wear and handling than one someone buys and reads and then never cracks open again. Sometimes they have a book sale and will take donations of pretty much anything then.

There's also a charity shop on my street that specializes in books and music, and I'll donate to that too. They'll take anything in readable condition. Of course I end up buying plenty from there too. And sometimes later taking them back there after I read them to redonate... :D

We also have a book stall (well a table and an honesty box) at work, to buy books for 50p, which goes to the current charity the company is supporting. I bring some to that sometimes. (And then buy some more from it of course!)

I can't fit any more books in at home, so it's good I have my Kindle now! But I still buy paper books sometimes. Every few months I'll have a sweep and get rid of a few to make some space for ones I will want to keep.

I always figure it's better for a book that I'm not going to read again to be out in the world being read than sitting on my shelf at home gathering dust.

Becky Black
09-29-2015, 12:21 PM
There's no such thing as too many books.

Just too little space. :D

Twig2
09-29-2015, 12:43 PM
I had a large book collection that I got rid of by taking them to the place where I worked (big place) and putting them next to the coffee machine along with a sign saying "books, $1". Throughout the following days, people came by giving me money. After a few days I changed the sign to "books, 50c" and then "free books!" They were all gone by the end of the week. It was very liberating, and also fun to hear back from colleagues that had enjoyed the books I sold them.

Nowadays, I only buy e-books, or paperbacks that I give away as soon as I've finished reading.

Jamesaritchie
09-29-2015, 06:58 PM
I prefer sending them to p[third world countries. They love books more than anything, even when they don't speak English. When this isn't possible, Goodwill is an option because the money from the books they sales gives people jobs. Most charaties really can't put books to good use.

I will say check your books carefully before giving them away. Some might be worth more than you think. Even current first editions can be worth a mint, if not many are available.

mirandashell
09-29-2015, 09:01 PM
Just too little space. :D

Correct!

mirandashell
09-29-2015, 09:04 PM
I ended up burning a lot of mine. I know, I'm a book-burner, but... nobody wanted them!

:Wha::Wha:

gettingby
09-29-2015, 10:22 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm going to look into them, but I don't think I could ever burn my books. Maybe during a zombie apocalypse if it was necessary. Right now, I'm still in the sorting phase. I want to know how much I'm trying to give away before I try to give them away. I know my library has a book sale every year so I don't mind donating to them even if they want to sell them.

Question: The boxes of books in the garage from my last move... Do I even open them to see what's inside or just let them go?

This is harder than I thought. In my last place (about 10 years ago) I had a small library room. It was great. I just don't have that kind of space anymore. I think I'm doing okay sorting through my books, but I need to let more go. Part of me just wants to let them all go, but not really.

Gillhoughly
09-29-2015, 10:39 PM
My BFF is downsizing and found that bundling similar topic books is a good way to go. Take a pic, post on social media, and ask for a best offer over mailing costs. Send a Paypal invoice and you can buy Media Mail postage through them.

Otherwise, donating to hospitals, VA hospitals, etc. is a feel good thing. There's also the "library store" if your city has one. I donate to it and get a tax deduction.

Her criteria is:

a) Have I read this?
> I love it and will read again = keep
> it was okay but I won't read it again = donate
> I can't think why the hell I got it in the first place! = donate

b) Will I ever read it?
>Yes, this week! = keep
>No, my tastes have changed = donate
>No, not this week, I'm putting off the inevitable = donate

c) Is this a classic I can find at the library or get free on Project Gutenberg?
>Yes, and it's taking up space in my home = donate

d) Is this a vital research book I may need?
> Yes, I use it often = keep
> No, but it's long out of print and I will use it = keep
> No, because I won't be writing a book using its info after all = donate
> No, because I can borrow it from the library = donate

This is also good for thinning out the old DVD collection, too.

Gillhoughly
09-29-2015, 10:42 PM
Question: The boxes of books in the garage from my last move... Do I even open them to see what's inside or just let them go?

Open the boxes of books and go through them. I used to hide money between pages, a habit I got from my mom. I once found 60 bucks tucked away in an old Bible. You will find treasures and trash together.

cmhbob
10-07-2015, 08:25 AM
So the topic of donating books came up at another forum, and there were two good suggestions.

One was to donate to the nearest VA medical center. You could expand that idea to hospitals in general.

And WRT prisons, I heard about http://prisonbookprogram.org/donatesection/donate-books/ as well as others. See https://www.google.com/search?q=Prison+Book+Project&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Good luck.

Captcha
10-07-2015, 10:31 AM
I think to some extent you need to look at the value of the books you're donating before you decide that's the best solution. I used to work in a library and unwanted donations were a pretty big challenge for us. If we refused them, we gave the impression that we were so well-funded we didn't need help, but if we took them, we ended up with a lot of books that weren't worth the cost of cataloguing and that we couldn't even give away, let alone sell at a used book sale.

Classics in good condition and current fiction? Absolutely worth donating. A ragged paperback version of a book that wasn't even that popular thirty years ago when it was last in print? Almost certainly not worth donating. The people you donate to may take the books, because they don't want to give the wrong impression, but will the book actually be of use to them? Much less likely.

brainstorm77
10-07-2015, 07:00 PM
I donate to Goodwill because I also shop there :)

I have also left books in the lobby area of the local hospital.

Magnanimoe
10-07-2015, 07:43 PM
With retirement and downsizing less than a decade off, I too have been eyeing the family bookshelves (thousands of books) for awhile. In fact, I've already started the culling process (mostly to make room for NEW books, I admit).

I recommend using Amazon's free phone app to scan books to see their value as determined by Amazon sales. If it doesn't have a UPC code and you think it's rare, use eBay's "completed auctions" feature to see recent sales there. Judge the value only by the ones that actually sold as sometimes people set ridiculous prices. Once I know a book has little financial value, it goes to charity.

It should be pointed out that (in the U.S.) charitable contributions of books are tax deductible if you itemize. Turbotax has software called ItsDeductible that connects you to an IRS-approved database for determining "fair market value", and the crazy thing is that this data comes from eBay. I forget the exact numbers, but the deductions were higher than you might think (one price for paperback, a higher one for hardback). Whatever the numbers, it adds up fast. This is true of all charitable donations. My wife has a few booths in antique shops for supplemental income and sometimes it's financially more advantageous to give items to charity than to sell them in the shop.

DreamWeaver
10-07-2015, 08:31 PM
Another possibility is to support your local used book seller.

I also have been downsizing my book collection preparatory to moving. While I give books to the library and the Salvation Army, the nice SF ones go to my local used book seller. I figure anyone with a bookshop is struggling right now, so I asked her if there were any categories of books she really needed. She said SF fans hold onto theirs, so she never got enough SF stock. Well, I represent that demographic, but it made it much less painful to part with the SF books by simply giving them to her. She loved getting them, and I felt less bad about culling them.

nighttimer
10-07-2015, 10:45 PM
Donate, donate, donate. Libraries, schools, charities. Send 'em to soldiers deployed overseas. Or give 'em to a homeless shelter. Or a prison.


yes. also county and city jails.


Just one caveat: If you are donating to a prison library (which is an admirable idea, IMO), be aware that it's probable the facility will not accept hard-bound volumes.

I was thinking today's lousy John Grisham best-seller behind bars could be turned into tomorrow's shank . :sword

I will say what you should not do is not sell your books to a second-hand bookstore. We have several Half-Price Books (https://www.hpb.com/) in town and while I won't go so far as to call them "a rip-off," I will say if you carefully box up your unwanted books and think you're going to walk out of there with anything more than lunch at McDonald's money, you're in for a disappointment.

Others do consider stores like Half-Price Books to be rip-off joints (http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Half-Price-Books-Records-Magazines/Austin-Texas-78704/Half-Price-Books-Records-Magazines-Tried-to-give-me-50-cents-for-two-boxes-of-autographe-225459#comment_7), but some of the people who work there see if differently.


I have many times offered folks $1 for many boxes of books that would all be recycled because the demand for the titles and subjects was nil, and because the world in constantly changing and so is the information in books! Yes, Jung and Freud are standards, perhaps the person on the counter that day was an idiot, obviously they have no manners. If it had been me, I WOULD have helped box up your books..but probably not if you flew off the handle, dropped an F bomb at a family store where children are present, and started slamming your books in a box angrily. No one is going to help you if you behave like a crazy, they're going to watch you leave and hope that no children learned a new word that day.

As someone else stated: Not all signed books are collectible. We (those of us working at HPB doing our jobs correctly and respectfully) look up collectible books on abebooks.com to see how collectible they are, and decide from there what we think we'll sell them for in the store and what we can pay for them based on that assessment. One store gave an older lady $3,000 for a signed first edition Einstein book.

As for your text books...well, they decrease in value each semester until the average textbook sells for one sad penny on amazon.com. We look up textbooks to see what they are currently selling for used, and if it's less than 5 dollars, most books get donated or recycled. Textbooks are a HUGE evil business where they put out a new edition almost every semester, professors get paid to use new ones, and students get shafted. So their value drops drastically within two years. Although, as with any book...there are always exceptions...

HPB as a company pulps (recycles) about 100,000 books a week. (Anyone saying "you should have just thrown them in the dump is stupid, recycle your books people!) We donated thousands: hospitals, daycares, schools, charities, retirement homes, women's shelters, etc. There just isn't always demand for certain books, but especially there's just not enough room. We try to move books fast in order for new ones to get on the shelf. Those that don't sell, go to clearance (we keep that in mind when we buy things) and after clearance it's to be pulped or donated, depending on what it is.

I can't even begin to tell you how many copies of The Da Vinci Code I've donated....

I have an even more extensive collection of comic books I'm downsizing. Though they're worthless to second-hand stores, they aren't hard to give away to libraries and hospitals.

eBooks hold no interest for me. I'm a traditionalist and I like my bookcases filled with actual books. I've never had anyone come into my home and be impressed by my eBook collection.

Fruitbat
10-08-2015, 01:22 AM
A year or so ago, I did a serious top to bottom clearing out of my house. I was surprised that it took several dozen cars full of stuff as well as many larger items left out at the curb, including two small boats, furniture, clothes, books, old toys and bikes and miscellaneous, also over half the contents of the attic and yard (we don't have basements here). If asked at the time, I would have said that I cleared stuff out pretty regularly and didn't have that much stuff. So I was very surprised when it took months to do a thorough de-cluttering job on one room at a time.

Now, I'm much more aware of it and regularly put things into the trunk of my car to drop off the next time I go out. I don't want to be stuck with a giant job like that ever again. I also do a top-to-bottom de-cluttering once a year. I love having some drawers and shelves that are completely empty.

Anyway, I really think that if I'd gone with the typical advice of sorting and sending each type of thing wherever it could best be used, I would never have gotten through it all. Piddling around with each item would make it take two centuries to clear out a house you've lived in for over a decade and raised kids in. If it fit into the car or trunk, ALL of it went into the car or trunk and got dropped off at the charity shop down the road. Fortunately, they have covered tables out where you can drop things off any time, whether anyone is there or not. So I'd suggest finding such a place for regular use first. Otherwise, ime it often just ends up to be not cleaning but only scuttling the the junk about from room to room.

I don't even worry about getting a receipt for taxes, but just consider it purely a contribution to those less fortunate. Sorting through all that stuff provides a job for someone, too.

If anyone on here is familiar with flylady.com, a gentler approach she uses is just go through your house and fill a box or bag with 27 things you don't need and put them directly into your car to drop off the next time you're out. Do this weekly, daily, or a few times a day. Circulate through your house so you eventually keep reducing all of the worst trouble spots. I'm not sure what the significance of the number 27 is, but it does get it done painlessly if you stick with it, whether it's books or anything else.

I feel more centered and free to do whatever comes up next when I don't have a bunch of stuff hanging over my head that I "should do first, sometime." Not sure how to explain it exactly but it's more than just stuff, it's had a really nice effect on my mental state or something as well.

The whole place stays clean and fresh (not to mention no more icky insects that lay eggs in places where they're largely left undisturbed). Also, everything is easy to find and they are things that I actually use. Like, I now have two carefully chosen bottles of perfume rather than two dozen, six pairs of nice shoes not thirty, one coffee pot not four more "spares" in the garage. Every little unloved extra adds up to a big chaotic mess and of course I was not using most of that stuff anyway, if I even knew I still had it or where it was. So I guess I see the books as just another facet of a streamlined or bloated lifestyle.

I've also gotten some nice home improvements done, which I doubt I'd feel up to messing with when each closet etc. was stuffed with junk. It would have been a big job for me before they could do their jobs. I feel like streamlining makes me live in the present much more rather than being mired in the past. So to me, it's really a lot more than just getting rid of some extra books. Wondering if others feel the same.

P.S. Sorry for rambling on. I'm on several meds from a recent surgery.

jjdebenedictis
10-08-2015, 03:38 AM
Open the boxes of books and go through them. I used to hide money between pages, a habit I got from my mom. I once found 60 bucks tucked away in an old Bible. You will find treasures and trash together.Someone I knew in university bought an old textbook second-hand, just to use as a reference. At home, as he was flipping through it, he began finding old stamps pressed between the pages, obviously part of someone's collection.

They weren't worth much individually, but there ended up be a respectable pile of them squirreled away in that book. He sold them all on eBay and wound up with a few hundred dollars--enough to pay for his textbooks that year.

Scriptissima
10-08-2015, 11:10 AM
There's no such thing as too many books.
Exactly my sentiments. :-)


But ... if you must do this... then check whether your local library would like them. You can also spread the load around your local charity shops.
Definitely check those outlets in your town; not all libraries, thrift stores and so on accept book donations.

Something that's popped up in my city over the past couple of years is free neighborhood book exchange boxes (some are registered with "Little Free Library," though most are not) along with a "book bus" essentially having the same function as the book boxes, only mobile and targeting specifically lower-income neighborhoods giving away books for free. Then there is a new used book store that is taking in donations and all the proceeds are going towards a non-profit organization supporting the literary arts in my city; among other things they offer free writing classes to everyone who might be interested. Those are outlets I would target, if it was me. (I do donate to all of these, though I still hold on to most of my books.) So maybe look for something like this in your area (and maybe check the "Little Free Library" website for book exchanges in your neck of the woods. Not sure if I am allowed to post the link, but you can find them easily via Google).

As for which books to part with, I would likely go through the entire collection book by book and honestly ask myself how likely I was going to re-read each specific fictional book again. If the novel doesn't scream "read me! now!!" I would have to go on the "toss" pile, especially with 50% of all books having to go. As for nonfiction works, I would also take into consideration how dated the information might be. (I am actually guilty of having held on to outdated dictionaries and encyclopedias for decades - a blatant waste of book shelf space).

Generally, I feel you, though my solution might be different. I have just decided to part with a couple of other pieces of furniture so I can make room for more bookshelves. ;-) I don't mind "living in a library," in fact, I prefer it that way. :-)

Scriptissima
10-08-2015, 11:25 AM
Question: The boxes of books in the garage from my last move... Do I even open them to see what's inside or just let them go?

I would open them and check out each and every book.
When I moved to the States from Europe years ago, I put the belongings I wanted to keep and eventually ship into storage (at Mom's Basement Storage, so it's not costing me any money), and I still haven't shipped my stuff. Every now and then I feel like "let's get rid of it all," but I do miss certain things - including many of my books (I have about 40 book boxes stored at "Mom's Basement Storage," and those are only the books I had decided to keep after the initial sweep-through and culling process. My initial book collection was about twice that size...) and including my 100 year old leather wingchair that I love to curl up in with a good book. Can I live without those? Of course. And I am not a particularly material individual. But many of the stories in storage are like old friends in print, and I do look forward to reunite with them eventually. Which is why I would sift through those boxes of yours. If you end up figuring out that you really don't want to hold on to any of those books, at least you know for sure that you parted with them on purpose.

DreamWeaver
10-08-2015, 06:25 PM
The reason they do this is that various kinds of contraband (notably drugs) can be passed along hidden in hardbound covers. At least that's what I've seen expressed. But it could also be sheer laziness on the part of corrections officers who don't want to take the time to examine the books thoroughly. In any case, I'll reiterate that they probably won't accept hardbound volumes.

cawPrisons here also won't take art books, evidently because the drawings can be used as patterns for prisonhouse tattoos. The bookstore I worked at used to ship directly to prisons for prisoners' families, as the prisons also wouldn't allow books from private sources. We'd get some of those books returned due to being refused by the prison authorities, and sometimes it was very mystifying as to why...

juniper
10-08-2015, 07:58 PM
Another sorting method nobody's mentioned is donating any book you will easily be able to find in any decent library. Keep those harder to find.



The thing is about wondering how to decide.... once you start making excuses for keeping a book, you end up keeping all of them. You have to be ruthless. Had it more than a year and haven't read it yet? Then it's not a book that excites you, is it? Trust me, I know how it feels. Which is why I still have all of my books.....



I always figure it's better for a book that I'm not going to read again to be out in the world being read than sitting on my shelf at home gathering dust.


I prefer sending them to third world countries. They love books more than anything, even when they don't speak English.

I'm packing up books this week, and will keep suggestions in mind, particularly these. My time is limited, so will probably just take to my favorite local thrift shop. They're starting a new location that will be books and music only.

But - I'm wondering how to send books to 3rd world countries. Are there specific charities that do this? That's attractive to me too.

TellMeAStory
10-09-2015, 06:18 PM
Try donate@books4cause.com

They're very specific about what they will take (see website for rules) but if you set your boxes out on the porch, they'll come and pick them up. Good folks.

Maze Runner
10-09-2015, 08:14 PM
I need to do this soon but it's so hard to part with any of this stuff, and whatever the opposite of a hoarder is, that's me. But you hold a book in your hand and in it our countless laughs, insights, excitements, colorful characters who look at the world in their unique way, and even if I've read that particular book, there's always more to get. I think I'll always prefer paper to electronic, but the damn things are so bulky, and they need dusting, and shelving. It's a problem.

I_love_coffee
10-10-2015, 06:21 PM
I've moved a few times and got rid of a ton of books. Now, I have a small bookcase by a window, and every book in there has to earn their place. It must be by one of my favorite authors. I do re-read my favorite stuff too. I use them to refer to when I need to see how it should be done.

I read a ton, but get most of my books from the library. I don't know if I'm getting pickier, or just reading the wrong books, but not many of them are "keepers". They are books I enjoy reading in the moment but are not life changing, so I feel no need to own them.

I work with elderly people, and one of my patients told me her senior building has a "library". Next time I need to donate books or someone asks me where to donate, my new favorite answer is any senior building in your area. Elderly people often can't get to the library or to the goodwill to get books. They are also for the most part not eBook readers, and they have the time to read. And they are usually on low incomes and can't afford to buy books.

juniper
11-01-2015, 08:56 AM
This is proving harder than I thought it would be. I thought I was ready ... was going to do one small bookcase at a time ... but I just stand there and look at the books.

Books - full of ideas, and possibilities, and other worlds, and amazing characters, and wondrous thoughts and imaginings I couldn't ever come up with myself -

How can I possibly get rid of any of them?

Albedo
11-01-2015, 09:07 AM
You could do what I did, put them in boxes, and accidentally leave them exposed to damp for three years. Mouldy books are a lot easier to part with.

Once!
11-01-2015, 12:46 PM
In the UK we are slowly turning our high streets into long parades of coffee bars and charity shops. Conspicuous consumption mingled in with conspicuous giving.

Our household rule is to limit on our book collection to the capacity of the bookshelves we own. Every year or so we drag a box of books down to the charity shops, and then reward ourselves with a cappuccino and cake for being so virtuous.

I used to feel guilty. Books are such a part of my life that I can't bear to give them away. But then I realised that even the best books are rarely re-read. And the unread ones on the shelves are only making me feel inadequate for all the things I should have done and didn't. Possibly the most important books aren't the ones we have already read - it's the new ones that we are going to read next.

I once chatted to a conservationist about chopping down a tree. It was a lovely old tree that had been growing for centuries. I really liked that tree.

She told me that the tree was taking up space and that by chopping it down there would be room for new trees to grow in its place. Sometimes it's only our mawkish sensibility that wants to hold on to the past. It can be good to clear away the dead wood to make space for the new.

And as writers surely we want people to buy more new books, hey?

juniper
11-01-2015, 08:23 PM
And the unread ones on the shelves are only making me feel inadequate for all the things I should have done and didn't.

Oh yes.


Sometimes it's only our mawkish sensibility that wants to hold on to the past. It can be good to clear away the dead wood to make space for the new.


And yes again. Good points. Maybe I can make some progress.