Some of us have too much stuff. We think we want it, but in reality we don’t need so much. It starts out as an innocuous collection and like all things that start out harmlessly, stuff begins to pile up. Before you know it, it takes over your life.
Book lovers are notorious for having too many books. A big part of a book lover's life is spent collecting, or to an extreme sense, hoarding books and lugging them around as we move from house to house, city to city. If, like me, you're a book lover and have accumulated a huge number of books over the years, I have a few tips to spring clean your library and give your well-loved books a new home.
It will be very hard to part with your books. Believe me, I had to do it and it wasn't easy. I suggest you have a long hard think about which ones you want to give up. Start with the two copies of Harry Potter The Sorcerer’s Stone. Do you really need both the paperback and the hardbound edition? What you decide to part with is up to you, but think about these spring cleaning tips as a chance to share your favorite books with others who have the same passion for reading as you do.
Donate your books
Give the gift of education. A lot of libraries accept used book donations. Go to your favorite local library and ask about their book donation program. I donated a couple of boxes to Goodwill, so check them out, as well. Going local saves on shipping costs and benefits local families and charities. You would be doing your community a favor by sharing reading material. Kids would love your old Archie comic books and adults would love your Sidney Sheldon novels.
If you don’t mind the shipping cost of mailing your books, you can send them to extremely cool charities that share your reading advocacy. A good place to start is Books for Soldiers. Check out the soldiers' book request lists and see if you can find a match in your library. You can send not only books but also CDs and DVDs as a care package to troops overseas.
Other charities that you can send your old books to are Books for Africa, Books Through Bars, and Books To Prisoners. The Books Through Bars website lists the most requested reading material. Some inmates are very interested in higher education, and so it might be a great idea to donate your old textbooks to them. Other most requested books are Bibles and other spiritual guides, dictionaries, and Spanish books. If you're considering this option, make sure that your donations are paperback books, as hardbound books are not allowed inside prison facilities.
Sell your books
Speaking of textbooks, cull your overflowing book collection and make some extra money by selling your old textbooks on online markets such as eBay, Craigslist, or Amazon. College students looking to cut down on costs scour those sites for copies of reference materials and useful guides that they can buy for a fraction of the original price. I personally sold my books to Half Price Books and made a few extra dollars.
Share your books
Another way to share your old books is to set up a Little Free Library. The Little Free Library is a volunteer community-run library, usually housed in a small cabinet or structure that keeps the books safe from the elements. Neighbors and locals can pass by the Little Free Library, check out the titles on display, and get the books they want to read.
Do you have suggestions for other places where we can donate, sell, or share our extra books? Tell me in the comments below.
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Book 2 of the Plan B series
Limited time box set