Thursday, December 06, 2007

Used Books

When a person -- with much pain and grievous letting go -- clears out her bookshelves, then what is to become of the books? Some can be sold to other homeschoolers via websites or the spring conference. A few can be sold to used-book stores. But what about the rest? The ones that are valuable, but no longer valuable enough to keep on your own shelves? The ones that could benefit a family, except that everyone else's bookshelves seem to be full too?

I realize there are websites where I can sell some items. But I don't particularly want to type in the names, authors, publishers, and asking-prices of hundreds of books that might sell for a dime or a quarter. The idea, though, of throwing these books in the trash seems horribly harsh and wasteful. Books are friends! We don't throw our friends in the dumpster.


  1. I LOVE Paperbackswap, and have recommended it to many of my friends. You list your books (paperback, hardcover, or audio) by only typing in the ISBN number ... no descriptions, conditions, prices, etc. The only thing you pay for is shipping them to "buyers" once they've been requested. You then receive a credit in which to "purchase" a free book of your choice from a "seller".

    All books (except audio which may be more) gain you 1 credit and only cost you 1 credit to purchase. I've been emptying my shelves of many of our paperbacks and filling them up with hardcover editions of others.

    + This Pastor's Wife
    my Budget Help$ PBS entry

  2. My family and I like books, and we still have room in our basement. I live in Green Bay. Are you in this area?

  3. I know how you feel. I just boxed up my Young Children's Encyclopedia from my childhood. I had those books practically memorized - that's why I"m so smart today.

    For certain books, I've been having fun with

    Listed some on Amazon, didn't sell a one.

  4. Sorry, Cindy, Green Bay is about 5-6 hours from here.

    For Polly and Tena, am I understanding you right in that *I* would be the one to pay shipping in paperbackswap? Right now, with not getting paychecks regularly, I don't think that would be a wise way to thin my bookshelves. I've got quite a stack and I can easily see where I'd spend $200-300 on shipping books out to people. As much as it would hurt me to put the books in the trash, I think that would be preferable to spending that much to get rid of them. Maybe I could put some of the nicest ones there?

  5. True, true, true. You would be responsible for mailing them out. I guess it's a better idea for changing your library rather then reducing it. Being a first year homeschooling family in a very rural area I've found Paperbackswap a blessing, but what to do for you ... hmm...

    Have you considered donating those in very good condition to a local library? Our Town library can take whatever it gets. Our Big Town library will accept some and some they will place on sale shelves to benefit the library. Still better then the garbage.

    Wishing I would've thought of this a couple years ago when I tossed a few boxes of books in the burn pile after a garage sale. So so sad.

  6. Tena, you're right. Even if I have to throw some in the garbage that other people would say are "in poor condition," at least those that aren't could go to the used-book sale that the Friends of the Library throws twice a year.

    I thought of Goodwill too. But it's so hard to find books there. There's no rhyme nor reason to how the books are shelved. The library's used-book sale gets a lot more book-lovers, and it's easier to shop there because of the sorting the volunteers do.

  7. Did Half-Price Books not take them?

    Are there more that I can dig through? I always want more books... it makes my home smell like beautiful paper and ink...

  8. Rachel, they took 4. They were textbooks. They told us that the rest would be recycled or put in the dumpster. The ones I'm thinking you might be interested in would be some of the many horse books we collected when you were younger. A lot of them are little-kid books, some of the old old comic books off Grandma's shelves (although there's still about 3' of those on a basement bookshelf), quite a few literature anthologies, my higher-math textbooks from college, and some old classics like Ben Hur and Swiss Family Robinson and stuff like that.

  9. You may still have some text books in the attic here. How about I do not go up and look, and we'll both be happy, okay? (mom)

  10. I'd be interested in lit anthologies and horse books!

  11. I could bring them to church on Wednesday night and put them in your car.... which will be in the parking lot this Wednesday, unlike last Wednesday????
    (I'm not subtle, am I?)
    Seriously, though, I could go through the pile and pull out horse books and ancient high-school lit anthologies. And then YOU can decide what to do with them when YOU're short of space someday.

  12. Is there a school library that could use them? One of my book-lover homeschool friends recently showed me her garage FULL of LOVELY books and offered to give to me whichever ones I wanted...YAY..but like you, I don't have room anymore! Today she told me that she found a local Christian School needs books for their library. maybe there is a place like that would come and get them from you..saving you gas $ as well.