Disposing of books!

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Jorpho
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Disposing of books!

Postby Jorpho » Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:21 pm UTC

I have accumulated too many books, and I can hardly stand the thought of hauling them around for the rest of my life. I ought to get rid of some of the books I read when I was younger, too, as I don't think it's worthwhile holding on to them until the mythical day I can pass them on to my own children.

I suppose I could give them to charity, or I could try hauling them to a used bookstore for a pittance. The optimal solution would be some online peer-to-peer book exchange, but I've never tried one before, and a lot of what's on my "To Read" list is a bit obscure anyway. Perhaps someone here can suggest such an exchange that operates in Canada?

A sampler of what's available:

What Might Have Been (Anthology)
Players at the Game of People (John Brunner)
Shadow Puppets (Orson Scott Card)
Shadow of the Giant (Orson Scott Card, hardcover)
Stranger in a Strange Land (Robert A. Heinlein)
Johnny and the Bomb (Terry Pratchett)

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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby ChocloManx » Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:11 pm UTC

Donate them to a library.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Adalwolf » Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:53 pm UTC

If they are decent quality you could sell them on Amazon or ebay.

Donating to a library is always a nice thing to do.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Flying Betty » Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:43 pm UTC

Check out Bookcrossing
Just leave them in airports or anywhere that would be better with more books.
I'd probably just wind up going the used bookstore or library book sale approach
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby parkaboy » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:22 am UTC

when i need to cut down on accumulated books (usually books that other people have accumulated for me) i head to half-priced books and sell them. they're cheap, you don't get a whole lot from them but if you want a little extra $ without the hassle of online selling, its a good option.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Malice » Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:26 am UTC

You might be interested in Swaptree, a free online service which uses an algorithm to find second-hand trades. Ie., you've got "Shadow Puppets", Bob wants "Shadow Puppets" but can only trade something you don't want, and Carl wants what Bob has and has what you want, but doesn't want "Shadow Puppets".

Basically it gives you an address, you ship off your item, they ship off theirs, you end up with something cool. Everything is equally valued, so you send one item and receive one item. You can trade across, too--a book for a game, a game for a DVD, a DVD for a CD... I haven't had much chance to use it, because I'm a packrat, but it seems pretty cool.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby cathrl » Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:29 pm UTC

Disposing? Of books? People do that?

I kept mine for the kids. And I'm very, very glad I did. These days it's very difficult to find something written at a relatively high level, with a decent interesting plot, for an eight year old reading machine, that _doesn't_ involve teen relationship angst.

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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Balalaika Gap » Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:14 pm UTC

Flying Betty wrote:Check out Bookcrossing
Just leave them in airports or anywhere that would be better with more books.


Seconded - I love BookCrossing. It can be a little addictive, especially if you live in an area with other active BookCrossers who are dropping off and picking up books. It's fun to hunt for books that others have dropped off, and it's kind of exciting when someone else finds one of your books and writes about it. One of my books traveled from Chicago to South America, pretty cool!

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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Cephalus » Mon Apr 21, 2008 3:03 am UTC

cathrl wrote:Disposing? Of books? People do that?

I kept mine for the kids. And I'm very, very glad I did. These days it's very difficult to find something written at a relatively high level, with a decent interesting plot, for an eight year old reading machine, that _doesn't_ involve teen relationship angst.


Hehe. I recently went through my (At the time) 2500 or so books, and ended up getting rid of two boxes or so - a very small percentage. These went to the local used book store (those that were not wanted there ended up at goodwill, I think). My criteria was very similar - if I did not want any hypothetical child of mine to waste their time reading the book, I got rid of it.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby akashra » Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:51 am UTC

Yeah, definitely BookCrossing.

Just leave them on random park benches, in phone booths, tables at cafes - make sure it's clearly labeled so people will pick it up though.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Mo0man » Wed Apr 23, 2008 12:10 am UTC

I wouldn't recommend a library. A lot of the time they have too many books, so they wouldn't really want yours unless they're really valuable/rare
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Jorpho » Wed Apr 23, 2008 3:56 am UTC

Heh. The local university library dumps huge quantities of old books into the recycling bins every now and then, even with the colossal multi-day annual book fair! (This is, of course, part of the reason why I now have too many books...)

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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Wormwood » Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:12 am UTC

I typically give them to the local book fair, or, if they're pretty much worthless/broken, I'll burn them. Much of my childhood books went up in smoke a few months back. As did all my textbooks.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Various Varieties » Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:58 am UTC

Charity shops FTW. 8)

The thought of binning anything - book, magazine, CD, game, VHS tape - that's in good condition/useable just horrifies me. Which is why I found the news a few weeks ago that Gamestation were destroying their retro stock - without even having a sale first - sickening. :(

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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Aleril » Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:39 pm UTC

How about a garage sale? There are always some people around the neighborhood looking for some extra reading material, and you could sell them for a buck a piece.

Other than that, I would put them in storage and them give them to my kids when they are ready.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Rowsdower » Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:06 pm UTC

My shelf is overfull, but I can never get rid of any of them.

I say Yard sale. That's how my family got rid of a bunch of books in our attic.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby PictureSarah » Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:10 pm UTC

Every time I've had to purge books it has been when I've lived in an apartment building, so I've always just put them in a box with a "Free" sign on them, and left them in the lobby or the laundry room. They disappear pretty fast.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:53 am UTC

Wormwood wrote:I typically give them to the local book fair, or, if they're pretty much worthless/broken, I'll burn them. Much of my childhood books went up in smoke a few months back. As did all my textbooks.


You know, I realize it's just paper, but I don't think I could ever do that.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Wormwood » Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:24 pm UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:
Wormwood wrote:I typically give them to the local book fair, or, if they're pretty much worthless/broken, I'll burn them. Much of my childhood books went up in smoke a few months back. As did all my textbooks.


You know, I realize it's just paper, but I don't think I could ever do that.


Quite a few people have told me that. Some people got angry at me. It just seems a bit, I don't know, pissy (?) to get worked up about burning books.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:35 pm UTC

I'm not angry, and I realize it's an irrational objection...I dunno, I guess book-burning just has pretty bad connotations that the act itself, in isolation from some of the negative intentions that it sometimes carries, doesn't deserve.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Various Varieties » Thu May 01, 2008 5:59 pm UTC

For me the annoyance is that something in good condition that someone else might have found useful has now disappeared from the world - "out of circulation" for want of a better term.

That said, you could make something out of them:

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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Wormwood » Fri May 02, 2008 11:17 am UTC

Various Varieties wrote:For me the annoyance is that something in good condition that someone else might have found useful has now disappeared from the world - "out of circulation" for want of a better term.


The way I see it, there are now 2.6 copies of LOTR for every human now in existence. My copy was old, had a missing cover, and I'd never finished it. Also, it was printed in like 1955, and really crappy quality. I wasn't preventing anyone from reading it by burning it, and the ashes went on my garden. So it finally found a use after all.

Also, I never liked Tolkien's style of writing. Had I enjoyed the books, I would probably have kept them.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Various Varieties » Wed May 07, 2008 4:43 pm UTC

Wormwood wrote:The way I see it, there are now 2.6 copies of LOTR for every human now in existence. My copy was old, had a missing cover, and I'd never finished it. Also, it was printed in like 1955

YOU BURNED A FIRST EDITION?! :shock:










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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby okelay » Thu May 08, 2008 7:57 pm UTC

BURNING?!

What, do you live in Ray Bradbury's head?

and a 1955 edition?

I could never,ever burn my books. no way in hell.
I reccomend bookmooch,I love it.
bookcrossing is good too.
sometimes I take them to used shops and sell them for a few coins

but burning? polluting and destroying?! Insane!

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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Ati » Fri May 09, 2008 1:32 am UTC

As someone who believes that the future of the human race is the preservation of knowledge, burning books gives me a really nasty turn. That said, I don't think I've ever gotten rid of a book in my life. I just build more shelves. If I run out of wall space, it's time to raise the roof. Then again, I don't buy too many books - ebooks and the library for me, thanks.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Leonard, Part 5 » Tue May 13, 2008 8:48 pm UTC

I tried selling some of my books at a yard sale. Hundreds of books from popular authors (King, Koontz, Rice, Chricton, Cussler, Clancy) $.10 for paperback and $.25 for hardcover. I think I sold 5 books over six hours. It may be a location issue, but in my experience, lugging the books out to be sold at a yard sale wasn't worth it. I later sorted out the less desirable half of the collection and donated the books to goodwill. I at least got a tax write-off out of it, and the books didn't get destroyed.

I did end up having to toss old encyclopedias, because apparently even charities won't take those things.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby muffin of doom » Wed May 14, 2008 7:21 am UTC

I second the recommendation of BookMooch (http://bookmooch.com). Post a list of the books you don't want, and then when someone requests them, you mail them off and get points. Then use your points to request books from other people. You have to pay for postage, of course, but at least you can be sure that your book is ending up in the hands of someone who wants it, and you can get shiny new-to-you books in exchange. (Or if you don't want more books, you can donate your points to a charity through the site.)

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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby SecondTalon » Fri May 16, 2008 3:46 pm UTC

Leonard, Part 5 wrote:I did end up having to toss old encyclopedias, because apparently even charities won't take those things.

It's kinda hard to learn from a series of books where, when you look up Islam, it tells you to look at the article on Mohammadism.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Ramses IV » Sat May 17, 2008 2:36 am UTC

GIVE THEM TO ME!

No, but seriously. Anysort of Goodwill or Amvets type thing'll take 'em. And there's certain sites you can use too.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Gojoe » Sun May 18, 2008 2:01 am UTC

I agree with Mr. Ramses. GIVE THEM TO ME!
I love books, the more the merrier. I live about 2inches to the left of the middle of nowhere (New Zealand). So sending out books to people on web sites is out (shipping would cost too much) and receiving them as well is out. Plus new Books here are EXPENSIVE! So I vote to giving them to someone local. You could really make someone's day.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Clumpy » Mon May 19, 2008 10:20 pm UTC

Does your toaster oven go up to 451 degrees? I might have an idea.

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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Tac-Tics » Wed May 28, 2008 9:17 pm UTC

I own a lot of books. A lot of technical books in particular. I am moving to a new apartment this weekend, so I recently went through all my books and separated them into three piles: keep, donate, and burn. To be honest, most of the burn pile is a collection of God's Forsaken textbooks from college. I don't know how some professors can get away with their recommendation (and cornered marketing) of such criminally useless texts.

The donate pile is the books that I feel deserve a better home. Like my rabbit from junior high who I couldn't take care of through college. I loved him, and I love those books, but they need someone who will sit down and read them. Many of them are about topics I don't care about any more, or that I feel I've grown out of. I hope they find a home as good as my bunny did. (Because he got a really good new owner).

Now that I think about it though, everything in my burn and donate piles were textbook-ish. I don't read much in the way of novels, but I own a ton of manga. A lot of it, I haven't even read (since they're in Japanese, and some of them are pretty hard for my level). Even the manga I hated, I don't plan on letting go of. At least a couple I am pretty damn sure I'll never bother to open ever again though.

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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Masuri » Wed May 28, 2008 10:29 pm UTC

I recently did the same kind of cleanout of my library and I donated mine to a local charity which shipped them overseas to bored troops in Iraq. That was nice, I thought.

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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Sartorius » Wed May 28, 2008 10:42 pm UTC

Does anyone have an idea for textbooks? The general consensus seems to be burning (because the other option is the landfill, and that's much more boring), but does anyone know of places you can recycle them or something?

I really like a lot of these ideas for normal books. I know my family usually just keeps them or we trade them in with the local used book store, but shipping them to the troops or Bookcrossing is really neat.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Jorpho » Thu May 29, 2008 5:37 pm UTC

Aye, textbooks are a difficult sell once a new edition comes out. It seems the worst are old psychology textbooks.

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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Tac-Tics » Thu May 29, 2008 6:53 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:Aye, textbooks are a difficult sell once a new edition comes out. It seems the worst are old psychology textbooks.

Technology books are even worse, I'd wager. Not only is there a new edition of the book, but there's also a new version of the software.......

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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Thu May 29, 2008 7:59 pm UTC

In relation to making something of books, I give you this. I can see myself selling a handful of these at the next craft fair in town. It will only work for hardcover books, obviously.

The only excuses I would have for burning books would be if the book was badly damaged, like the cover and/or several pages were missing, or some pages were illegible due to water damage, or if it had been marked up all to hell, or if the book has outdated information, like a textbook that is revised yearly.

Most books can be donated to your local library. Most libraries will either add them to their shelves, or more than likely they will sell them in their monthly book sales. All proceeds usually go towards the library.
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby okelay » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:27 pm UTC

Ironically, about a month ago,my house burned down.
Now,my family is full of readers and we had many,many,many books. easily a few thousands.
and now there's nothing left. I live with my dad,so I had a few dozens here, but several of my treasures,including my collection of Harry Potter,LOTR,Narnia,Bradbury,Christie and Conan Doyle were all there.
and there went my entire bookmooch inventory.

If anyone wants to get rid of old books, I'm happy to receive them.

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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Gojoe » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:56 pm UTC

What country are you in?
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Re: Disposing of books!

Postby Jorpho » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:26 am UTC

It seems I did not previously divulge that.


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