I previously mentioned some ways to thin out your book collection. When you have too many books and too little space, you might consider parting with them by either donating, selling, or sharing. For book lovers who want to go the donation route, there are charities that take used books and distribute them to beneficiaries that will appreciate your donation. Among these charities are Books for Soldiers, Books Through Bars, and Books To Prisoners. The booklist on their websites lists the most requested books so that you get an idea of what to donate, and you can make sure that the book you once loved will continue to help someone else.
If you just want to share your books with the local community, I have previously suggested setting up a Little Free Library where you and a few other book lovers can pool together your pre-loved books, house them in an accessible mini library, and share them with your local community.
I have also mentioned using online markets for selling your old books. The old faithfuls like eBay, Craigslist, and Amazon are the most popular bets for selling old books, as college students frequently scour these sites for reference material. Here are a few more suggestions on where to sell your old books.
Try Abe, Barnes and Noble, eCampus, Powells, Valore Books or Textbooks.com. These sites will fetch you a good price for your used books but have a few rigid conditions that should be followed. All six can pay you through Paypal. Make sure you have a PayPal account setup if you want to take this route. Some will cut you a check and some will give you store credit. If you make sure that the books you send are in good condition, selling them on these sites won’t be a problem. Books that have rips, tears, highlighting, or taped pages will get rejected. It is worth noting that Abe sends rejected books back but Powell does not.
If you're feeling charitable, here are a few more suggestions on where you can donate your used, pre-loved books. The Salvation Army, Goodwill, and the Reading Tree all accept used book donations. Check out their websites so that you can see where the local drop-off centers are located. This way, you won’t have to handle shipping or incur mailing costs, and you can benefit your local charity chapter.
Community centers and high school libraries are also some of the places that are in great need of books. If you have old classics, those could greatly benefit the high schools who need multiple copies of our favorite classic stories. Titles like Little Women, The Great Gatsby, Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Scarlet Letter, The Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men, 1984, and Animal Farm are on every librarian's wishlist.
You might want to claim a tax deduction for charitable contributions so make sure that you get a receipt for your book donations. Make an itemized list of all the books you've donated and what condition they're in. This serves two purposes; you keep an inventory of your donations, and the list might come in handy during a tax audit.
Lastly, you can also do a fundraiser event where you and volunteers can set up a book drive to collect books and sell them at a book fair or a charity event. Be clear about what the proceeds will go towards. You'll find that a lot of people are willing to support a good cause.
Good luck with your library spring cleaning. Hopefully, you find one of these suggestions on what to do with your extra books helpful. Give your well loved books a new home and clear out some space for other items that will be new sources of joy in your life.
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