What do you do with your books once they are read?

Remember this?

Well, my existing bookshelf wont be housing those. In fact, that up there is their storage until they are read. Then what though? I only have the one shelf in my room which is already nearly filled to capacity. Up until now the books I have kept are ones that are important to me. Childhood favorites, high school year books, birding books, my photo albums from old school printed photo days are in there, & books by authors who I know personally (some of those are signed). Up until now since my reading rate has been pretty slow, I’ve not been too concerned with book disposal. Mostly the few I read end up at Goodwill.

But now I am faced with an already growing pile of books read in 2010 and at this rate I will have all those up there in that pile at some point. So I am looking for other ideas. Has anyone tried selling their books through the many sites? I’ve bought a few used book through Amazon & Barnes & Noble and been quite pleased with that. The books even with shipping are usually under $10 and in fine enough shape for reading. How hard is it to setup a seller account with one of those or something similar? Is Goodwill still the best donation option? They are easy since there is a drop off center that I pass every day on the way in to work. I give them all our clothing so it’s easy to just keep a pile for books. Or do any of you readers want to take dibs on some? I already did that once with a book and it was easy as pie and cheap to mail it out.

What do you guys do?

8 thoughts on “What do you do with your books once they are read?

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  1. I usually donate mine to the local library. When we moved from southern Ohio to northeastern Ohio I donated so many books that they were able to open up a new, smaller branch of the library using them. Seriously. I used to read 3-5 books a week and saved them for some unknown reason. Now I do what you do: Keep the books that are important to me. The rest get donated.

    Jails and prisons and hospitals take them too. I’ve never tried selling them, but have often thought about it now that I’m not working outside of the home anymore.


  2. I often sell books I don’t want to keep through Amazon. I like it because it’s easy and free to set up a listing. I don’t make much money on anything I sell there, but it’s nice to know that the things are going to someone who actually wants them. You just have to watch the pricing–Amazon’s reimbursement for “priority” shipping is very low compared to current Post Office rates, so you can wind up losing money on the shipping. I usually offer only “Standard” shipping, which means Media Mail. That way my reimbursement usually comes close to covering my actual mailing costs.


  3. I combine selling books on Amazon, taking them to our children’s consignment shop (they take books!) or donating them.

    Amazon is ridiculously easy. I agree that sometimes you don’t get much but have found if I’m selling a bunch of books it all evens out. I like the idea of keeping used books in circulation.


  4. I do paperbackswap.com…I post books and audiobooks, pay postage to send them to someone who wants them and get points that I can then use to get books and audiobooks. I have actually gotten a lot of scripts there, too.


  5. Well I say give your regular reader/pals a week after review then give them to your oldest to try to sell for you and split the profits with him


  6. 1. My sister reads voraciously. She has a teen autistic son that, who keeps her tied up during the hours he is not at school. He is non verbal and very demanding. She has to stay in the room with him or he starts screaming. So she reads. As long as she is in the room with him, he mostly lets her read. Books are expensive though and she stays home because of her son (she’s a single mom) so there is no money for books, usually. I send her all my books, if she hasn’t read them. It saves her a lot on books then she trades at the used books store near her.

    2. I found a used book store near me. Hardbacks are $2 and paperbacks are $1. Aside from buying books there, I also can take my books that I’ve finished and trade them. She gives me a trade in of $1 for hardbacks and $.50 for paperbacks. That trade in credit helps a lot. If I can’t find something I want to read, I spend my credit on books to send my sister.

    3. I also have donated some of my books to the community center in the mobile home park where I live as we have a library in there.

    4. Schools will take them. Find a teacher at a high school and he/she will most likely accept your already read books for his/her classroom library.


  7. I don’t buy books unless I think I want to keep them. Otherwise, I’ll check them out at the library. And then, if I loved the book, I’ll buy it. I like to re-read good books, since my memory doesn’t hold them for as long as I’d like.

    But, our community library has this cart they keep on the patio, day and night, where people can drop off their books and magazines for others to take. I love it. I once came home with two years worth of Dwell magazine. My husband couldn’t believe it.


  8. Since you indicated you have a number of books you want to put to good use, may I suggest donating them to help with the Haiti Rebuilding effort? Better World Books will sell the books online and contribute 50% of the net sales to rebuilding education and literacy efforts in Haiti. You can see the details at http://www.betterworldbooks.com/haiti . Thanks!

    BWB Marketing


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