Readers ask: What Do I Do With Old Books?

30+ Ways To Responsibly Dispose Of Old Books (Sell, Donate, & Recycle)

Thrift stores receive a lot of donations, often of things they can’t sell, so local thrift shops can be good homes for a lot of things, but they aren’t always our best first option.

What To Do With Old Books

I’ve compiled a list of alternative places to sell or donate used books you no longer want or need to help reduce waste and limit what languishes in landfills, so fewer of our old books end up in the trash.

Where To Sell Used Books

Consider selling some of your old books when you’re ready to part with them; there are several outlets where you can sell used books. Selling used books can help reduce waste and keep perfectly good books out of the trash.

Sell Used Books to Local Independent Bookshops + Half Price Books Stores

Many secondhand bookstores will accept current books in good condition that are popular for resale in exchange for cash or store credit; some stores will give you a better exchange rate if you accept store credit instead of cash, while others will accept walk-in consultations during which they will review the books.

Sell Used Books on Facebook Marketplace

You could also sell books on Facebook Marketplace; most people will be less interested in picking up a single book or two; someone is much more likely to pay for and pick up a set of 15 or 20 Magic Tree House books than to make such a trip for one or two books.

Sell Used Books Online Using BookScouter.com

BookScouter.com is an online platform that compares pricing for various online book buyers. Simply type in the ISBN for your book and you’ll see a table of pricing offers from a variety of online book buyers.

Sell Used Books on Amazon & eBay

You can scan a book’s ISBN number to determine the general selling price on Amazon. You’ll have to work directly with buyers and manage shipping, but it’s a great option if you can coordinate shipping.

Where To Donate Books

There are many options for donating used books if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of resale. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of resale, consider donating books to a larger organization that supplies books to underserved communities.

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Gift Books To Family and Friends

If you’re looking for a new home for your old books, don’t be afraid to donate them; if they don’t need or want them, friends and family can help you find a new home for them.

Giveaway Books In A Buy Nothing Group or Via FreeCycle

Always post items to your Buy Nothing Group before throwing them in the trash; you never know what a neighbor will appreciate. If you don’t have one in your area, check your local FreeCycle group for freecycle listings.measure.org/buying-nothing

Donate Books To A Little Free Library

Little Free Libraries are small free-standing book cabinets that help people rehome books in their communities. You can take a book or donate a book to the Little Free Library at no cost, and it’s a fun way to foster a sense of community.

Host a Neighborhood Book Swap

Neighborhood book swaps are a great way to get to know your neighbors better, and Book Riot has some great ideas for how to host one. Check out their suggestions for a successful neighborhood book swap.

Donate Books To A Local Library

Many libraries accept book donations, though some are more picky about the types of books they accept. If your local library is picky, know that it’s for a good reason. Offer to donate books that meet their needs and find new homes for items your library can’t use.

Donate Books To A Local Prison

Books Through Bars distributes books to incarcerated people in prisons across the region; you can also check out this list of Books To Prisoners programs for more information, or ask your local library, which may already have a relationship with the prison.

Donate Books To Local Literacy Programs

Many local literacy programs accept donations; laundromats frequently accept donated books for children to take home or read while visiting; in Chicago, I regularly donated books to a secondhand bookshop; and there are many other literacy programs that are funded by or rely on book donations.

Donate Books To Local Schools and Daycare Centers

Donate books to local schools and daycare centers. Some schools accept a wide variety of books, while others are more particular about the titles that fill gaps in their book collections. Be mindful of the needs of your local school or daycare center, just as you would with donations to your local library.

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Donate Books To Retirement Homes

Make sure they’re in good shape and up to date so residents will find them interesting and useful, and call ahead to inquire about the needs of local retirement homes.

Donate Books To Your Local Thrift Shops + Charity Shops

You can donate books to Goodwill, The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity ReStores, and other charity shops; thrift stores are a great option for donating books if your book is in good condition and likely to be resold.

Donate Books To Soldiers

After signing up for their programs, you search their respective databases for homes for the books you have and addresses of soldiers requesting books, which reduces shipping time, cost, and carbon emissions associated with delivery.

Should I throw away old books?

Books with moldy pages cannot be recycled and must be thrown away to prevent the mold from spreading to other books; however, if a book cannot be reused or given new life in another way, it is perfectly acceptable to recycle it.

How do you get rid of thousands of a book?

Here’s How To Get Rid Of Some Of Your Books (And Make Room For New Books)

  1. Giphy.
  2. Begin with your TBR pile. Giphy.
  3. And set time limits. Giphy.
  4. Host a book swap. Giphy.
  5. Make gift packages. Giphy.
  6. Give yourself permission to keep your favorites. Giphy.
  7. Sell those fancy textbooks. Giphy.
  8. And use the money for ebooks.

Can you put books in the recycle bin?

u201cCan I put books in the recycling bin?u201d you might wonder. The answer is yes, but there’s a catch: recycling books is difficult to say the least. Books are made of paper, stacked and bound together, protected by a cover, and held together by a strong adhesive.

How do I dispose of old hardcover books?

Hardcover Books in the Garbage Bin While you can throw your hardcover books in the trash, we recommend donating them to a local thrift or used book store so that others can enjoy them! You can also remove the cover and binding to recycle the hardcover book’s inside pages.

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What do you do with too many books?

If you have a lot of books lying around the house, here are some creative ways to store them.

  • Allow Your Books To Float On The Wall.
  • Make Use Of The Space Under The Stairs.
  • Convert That Ladder Into A Bookshelf.
  • Or The Bed.
  • How About A Circular Bookshelf?
  • Let These Shelves Set The Tone.
  • Give Your Bookshelf A Personality.

How do I know which books to get rid of?

Here are ten ways to figure out which books you should get rid of:

  1. Get rid of any books in a series that you don’t enjoy.
  2. Recycle magazines that you haven’t opened in the last month.
  3. Choose contemporary over classics.

How do I get rid of books for money?

You’ll need to find a store that will accept the books you’re selling in the condition they’re in. General Books

  1. Amazon.com (as a Third-Party Seller)
  2. Sell Back Your Book.
  3. Bookstores.com.
  4. Yard Sales and Garage Sales.
  5. Half.com.

Can you put paperback books in the recycling?

In theory, you can recycle your old books; however, if your book is bound with glue, it’s best not to recycle it because the adhesive that holds the book together can’t always be removed during the recycling process, and as a result, some recycling centers won’t accept it.

How do you dispose of old encyclopedias?

If you’re looking for a more purposeful use for your old encyclopedias, consider donating them to a local used bookstore or donating them to local schools and libraries.

Does Goodwill accept encyclopedias?

Give the encyclopedia set to Goodwill or The Salvation Army, which accept all kinds of donations, including books and encyclopedia sets.

Can old school books be recycled?

So, if you’ve finished with an old book and can’t find a home for it, either donate it to a secondhand bookstore or throw it in the recycling bin, which can also be recycled. Avoid throwing in contaminated items like paper towels or tissues, which should go in your general waste bin.

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