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Book Chat > How do you decide when to throw away a book that you haven't read if you are running out of space?

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message 1: by Valini (new)

Valini (valini21) | 1 comments I was so upset because I recently moved to a new apartment, and had to give away many books I had not read yet. I usually give away books (goodwill, library, etc.) that I have read and am not overtly attached to, but I was so sad that I got rid some I hadn't read. I immediately regretted getting rid of some of them.

How do any of you decide which book to throw away due to running out of space when you haven't read some yet?

message 2: by Wes, Moderator (new)

Wes (pricerightbooks) | 473 comments Mod
My heart just skipped a beat....
Don't throw them out!... donate them or take them to a local used bookstore unless they are Harlequins then burn them.

message 3: by Jeannie (new)

Jeannie | 13 comments It sounds as if Valini did give the books away, I didn't take it that they were literaly "thrown away".

I have had to go trough my stacks of unread books more times than I like to think about, in order make room for more books.....doesn't make much sense but , that is what the disease is all about.

It is never easy to do this but I do have a daughter-in-law who reads and I feel good when she gets some of the books. I also belong to and I will release a bunch of books. This is a really fun thing to do so it takes the edge off of letting unread books go.

message 4: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (readerandwriter) Usually I make a pile of books I have read and saved them to give to a friend or donate to the local library.

message 5: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony Our local library has a used book sale, so every now and then I load up the books that have been in the basement for a while and drop them off. I don't know if I've ever thrown a book directly in the garbage. That would feel very weird.

message 6: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 42 comments I would not literally throw a book away... even the ones I don't like. If they are paperback then I try to find someone to pass them off to and then after that; if they come back to me; then I box them up for a yard sale or find a used book store. My favorite ones I try to keep but since 90% of my things are in storage until we get in a house I have to keep the barest minimum.

message 7: by Aumee (new)

Aumee | 72 comments mmmm
i agree....
throwing away a book directly in the garbage wud be soooo weird and.....almost creepy
books i dont like usually are traded in for more or given away...

message 8: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (vargasgirl) | 7 comments I try to circulate ones i have not gotten to read among friends and family so there is that chance it might return and Iwill get to read it at a later date. So really that translates to me taking a HUGE bag to my Mom's once a month. Hahahahaha.

Oh and just discovered (local branches all over) and you can give away anything to a good home!! It saves stuff from landfills (yea!) and you get to know someone is treasuring your old trash!! I picked up some books from a gal who was moving just this last weekend! SCORE!

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Throw a book away? I'd sooner move. For the "keepers," I lend them out on a rotating basis to friends, and then, when they are returned, I just start a new, organized "pile" as we can fit no more bookshelves.

As for the "non-keepers," depending on the subject matter, I donate all of my used books to either a hospital or a prison. I've never had a book turned away, and people are grateful to know that others are thinking of them when they have too much time on their hands.

If you're looking to re-coup some funds, there's always eBay.

message 10: by Matthew (new)

Matthew | 13 comments I have never thrown away a book i have not read, or have i thrown away books i have read. I dont think i have ever gotten rid of a book before i at least attempted to read it. The books that i do get rid of, i take to the used book store for credit.

message 11: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Tuell (booksloveme) when i moved i put all my 700 books in plastic totes. i go through them once in while and take out the ones i don't want and list them on one of my many trading sites.

message 12: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (wanna_read_all_the_books) Just an FYI, it's, not dotcom. Very cool site, btw, thanks for mentioning it Danielle.

message 13: by Mike (new)

Mike Throw away a book...never. Heck, I still miss books lent out and never returned 10 yrs ago. Thank you for the Freecycle info and the prison or hospital donation idea. I've had a box of "non-keepers" sitting in the garage for the past 6 months. Looks like they have a destination now.

message 14: by Andy (new)

Andy I have a difficult time deciding what books to depart with but I must face the fact that I am running out of room in my basement. I would hate having to throw them away and would prefer to donating or giving them away , but I have an unusual habit of marking them up with comments, pencil markings and highlights etc

message 15: by Wes, Moderator (new)

Wes (pricerightbooks) | 473 comments Mod
In the south we do this thing called a yard sale. You clean your house and put your garbage out front and sell it to people who want a bargain. This is a good way to get rid of unwanted books.

message 16: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (wanna_read_all_the_books) LOL @ Wes

message 17: by Adena (new)

Adena i would never ever throw a book away. I've only donated and sold.

message 18: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (wanna_read_all_the_books) I don't think Valini means that she actually throws the books away. I think she just means that she has to get rid of them by donating etc due to lack of space.

message 19: by Kenzie (new)

Kenzie I never get rid of books, even ones I don't like. Sure I lend them out, but I never ever get rid of them. A lot of the time I read books before I buy them and buy them if I liked them.

message 20: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 2 comments I never consider getting rid of a book. I have mislaid or lost a few, but never thrown away, given away, or sold---Oh! I take that back. In my undergrad years I loved to drink whiskey and sold some. The experience was so awful, I gave up drinking whiskey. Books that I hate or find useless to read, I transform by drawing in them or cutting words out, stitching in the pages, or gluing stuff over the text, or use them in performances. I used some in a performance by ripping some of the pages out. There was a strong response. The printed page itself is a work of art, despite the worded text. My grandmother used to use paperbacks to fold into these christmas
tree shapes and spray with green paint and glitter. I've seen an artist's work, wish I could remember his name, he took old books and fashioned them into kinetic sculptures, one was a delicate butterfly whose wings/pages moved. It was positioned on the wall at eye level and some of the text was readable; it corresponded to the butterfly.

I don't condemn those who get rid of their books--not too harshly anyway. But I don't get rid of mine.

message 21: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte | 1 comments I can never git rid of books - as a matter of fact it is really hard for me to bring them back to the library on time. LOL

message 22: by Angie (new)

Angie I never get rid of books. Lately I have been checking out books from the library and if i love them I will ask for them as a present or hope i get a gift card and go and buy the ones i thought were fantastic!

message 23: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (wanna_read_all_the_books) I typically only buy books that I am going to want to keep. Because I have limited storage space I have to be kind of choosy about what I keep and what I get rid of. If I end up with some books that I don't want to keep, books I didn't really like or books I know I'm not going to read more than once, I either donate them or sell them on ebay. The money that I earn from my ebay sales I use to buy the books that I want to keep, for example - first or second editions of Beverly Cleary books from the mid to late 1950's.

message 24: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony Yes, I agree with Cindy. I'll buy books from my favorite authors, but other than that, I try to get books from the library first. I have enough books all over my basement that I'm trying to keep reasonable about the number of books in the house. I need to drop some off at the library, too. I also like supporting and visiting the library. Libraries rock.

message 25: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (wanna_read_all_the_books) Libraries completely rock.

message 26: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (dwell_ondreams) | 12 comments I worked at a used bookstore & we had to throw some books away (usually due to condition, some stuff wasn't even good enough for donate) because it was just too expensive to recycle. From a business point of view I could understand it, but I still hated it.

I sell my (unread) stuff. Then if I decide later that I want to read it, I get it at the library. Really the only time I end up with a bunch of books I've never read is if someone's having a fantastic sale. 95% of the time, I only buy stuff I've already read & want to read forever.


message 27: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (carolynanne) Gosh- I read the title of this thread and gasped! lol

I really like and for getting rid of (swapping) the (few) books that I've bought and disliked or weren't interested in. I have a few that I don't think anyone will swap me for, so eventually I'll probably drop them off at goodwill.

I'm trying to keep my personal library full of books I enjoyed and will reread one day, so the few books I own that don't fit that criteria are in my swap/give away pile.

message 28: by Lynn (new)

Lynn I have learned from past mistakes that when I got rid of books I didn't think I'd read,or that I thought I wouldn't have room for,that I invariably end up rebuying them. So, I've developed the very important talent of making books fit into spaces where it seemed no more would ever fit! Its a very essential skill for a booklover.

message 29: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) It is sad to get rid of books, but if I didn't "love" it, and won't reread it.....I feel the book deserves to go to someone who will read it and enjoy it. I try to find a home on my own. I work at a bookstore and we are all constantly passing books around. Or I donate them. Someone is bound to pick it up and it will have found a home!

message 30: by Andrea (new)

Andrea (andreag) | 27 comments In the last few years, I have started to de-acquisition a few books. My house is full of books... bookcases in every room except the bathrooms. We're getting to the point where we don't have room for more book cases. So I have started moving a few books out, mostly books I've read and know I won't read again. Some I sell, some I give to whatever local charity is taking book donations.

I've had a few paperbacks that were so decrepit that they were falling apart. I think I did actually throw those away, because they weren't readable. Other than that, I've been annoyed by a couple of books to the point of thinking about throwing them either away or across the room... but those are the first to get hauled off to the used bookstore.

message 31: by Symbol (new)

Symbol I actually have more trouble parting with books that I have read than books that I haven't. Even if I didn't like the book all that much.
The problem is, once I've read a book, I worry about it. As long as it's on my shelf, I know where it is and how it's being treated. Once I give it away, I have no control over that. Even if I give it to a fellow book-lover who will take good care of it, who is to say that they won't come to the same dilema as me and have to pass the book on to someone else eventually? Who knows what sort of person they'll pass it on to or where it will end up? What if it gets thrown away? I hate the thought of books just rotting away in landfills. Information disintegrating. Words evaporating.
If I haven't read a book then I don't worry about its wellbeing. Just as I don't fret over the wellbeing of strangers I've never met. I have to be at least moderately aquainted with someone before I start worrying for them. The same goes for stories.

message 32: by Chary (new)

Chary | 2 comments 1- The ones you are not quite attached to make great last minute gifts for people. Hey, the book(s) must be interesting if YOU picked them out right? Thus the book recipient should be thankful! Don't have giftwrap?? Use magazine pages or newspaper! Your friends and family (like mine)should understand what a geek you are, therefore the gift of a book is perfect!

2- Donate them to a needy school: domestic or international. If you're a teacher, give them to the students and/or start a mini-library in your classroom.

3- Donate them to the public library.

4- Check out

5- Mail them off to our troops overseas.

message 33: by Veronica (new)

Veronica (v_a_b) Those seem like good tips to follow when you have to get rid of books. I don't think I have ever gotten rid of any though. I've certainly accumulated a lot of books though. I've either bought them, somebody's bought them for me, or they belonged to somebody else in my family, but they got lonely until I read them and stuck them in my room to become 'my book'. I think that's where about half of my books come from.

And I'm not the only one to never get rid of books in my house. We have a bookshelf in the hallway (odd place I know, but it is the perfect little nook for the shelf) we have bookshelves downstairs(again in the hallway, and also in the family room) there are a few books in the room that was my sisters until she officially moved out, and then there area a few books in the living room, and a ton of books in my room. Most of the time, when a book comes into my room, it never leaves.

And of all of those places where we keep books, we have sold a very few at garage sales, and thrown out one book, which was an old copy of Harry Potter1 that was in a quite sad state. We bought a newer copy afterwards though, which we kept for quite a few years until it got lost in New York last summer.

message 34: by Shanan (new)

Shanan (yogimommy) Personally if I know I won't read the book again I prefer to sell the book to a local used bookstore and then buy other books with the credit. I personally think it is such a waste to have books on my shelf that I don't like when I can replace them with books I like and give another person the opportunity to enjoy a book they might love. :)

Also I have limited space in my house for books. So I want to make sure that I use the space well.

But I think one thing that makes this work well for me is I have a couple of excellent used book stores in my area. It would be harder to do if I didn't have a place to take them that I loved to shop at as well.

message 35: by Stef (new)

Stef (buch_ratte) | 39 comments When I am running out of space for books I just have to find new space for them. Another shelf in the kitchen, two more in the staircase, another one in the bedroom...whereever I find room for one. I even take of pictiures for new shelves.
I would never give away books. Gee, I plan to read or reread them when I retire in about 25 years :-)

message 36: by LJ (new)

LJ (ljroberts) First, I would never throw a book away. When I do have books I decide not to keep I either (1) list them on PaperbackSwap or (2) donate them to my local library branch. As most of mine are current HC 1st editions and signed, they love them either to stock or to sett at the annual library sale.

message 37: by Liz (new)

Liz (busy91) throw away a book? Huh?

OK, I think the term 'get rid of' would be better for me. :)

I don't get rid of many books, hardly any. But if I had to decide on which ones to keep or not to keep, I would probably get rid of the ones I didn't enjoy.

I would donate them to the library or ask around if anyone I knew wanted them.

message 38: by jennifer (new)

jennifer (mascarawand) | 27 comments When we lived in a much smaller place, before I had actual bookshelves, I ended up using my books as furniture. Stack your sturdy hardcovers in two or three piles, right next to each other, then put a glass table-top on. Just be sure to put the books spine-side out so you can still find the one you're looking for.

message 39: by Wes, Moderator (new)

Wes (pricerightbooks) | 473 comments Mod
crappy books also make great coasters... lol

message 40: by Alyn (new)

Alyn | 6 comments i just store them in boxes (with labels) and put them in storage until such time that I can get a bigger place. feel bad if I have to give or throw away my books.

message 41: by Christina (new)

Christina (honey1977) All the books I own are already read but if this wasn´t the case I couldn´t seperate with the new ones. To throw them away before I read them would haunt me :)!

message 42: by Deebles (new)

Deebles If i don't think i will ever read the book again i usually would sell it on a book trade website so i can use the money to buy more books.

When i have run out of space int eh past i have just re-organized the room and put up more shelves, the thought or giving up books i like or ones i have not read yet is not something i can handle too easily (i still have some books from when i was very very young)

message 43: by Laurel-Rain (new)

Laurel-Rain | 5 comments That is a dilemma...I recently moved from a much larger place into a small space -- but I do have a garage, thankfully -- and for awhile, I had my extra books in boxes in the garage. But then, slowly, I began adding shelves...I even have some books on the top shelf of my pantry! Books are a priority and there are no places in my apartment where books can't reside. In the hallway, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, etc.

When I first moved, I did donate and give away assorted paperbacks. They are hard to shelve, frankly, and don't hold up well. Now I only buy the hardcovers and trade paperbacks, which are larger than the pocket books.

I have separate stacks of books I haven't read yet -- they're on the floor in my bedroom, actually --and when I moved, I boxed and labeled these as "to be read" so that I wouldn't accidentally get rid of them in the giveaways.

message 44: by Francisco (new)

Francisco (fr4nc15c0d14z) | 5 comments I don't throw or give any books away. When there is no space, they make good coffee tables...

message 45: by Kathy (new)

Kathy  (readr4ever) | 42 comments I face this problem constantly, trying to make room for more books. I generally try to keep hardbacks, especially ones that I really enjoyed, which includes many. I first look to paperback series, which even if I enjoyed, I know I won't read again. Then, I pass those along to friends, family, or shelters. I just gained a new granddaughter, who is 7 and loves to read, so I'm able to weed out some of my children's books now. My daughter just took almost a whole shelf of her children's books, so whooeee, more room for books. Actually, it's already full again.

message 46: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (kshelley83) | 17 comments I find space...I only get rid of (by donating) those I've read or tried to read repeatedly and did not enjoy...and rarely even those.

message 47: by Catherine (new)

Catherine (catarinacanhota) | 52 comments I have had to give away books periodically because there is only so much room in my house. Sometimes I give away books I haven't read because they are outdated or I've lost interest in the topic. In the last two years I have been making a point to take time to read the miriad of unread books before getting new ones.

As for books I've read, if I have a book I know someone will enjoy reading I give it to that person. Sometimes I'll leave a book in a coffee house or other place where people like to read. Otherwise I donate them to thrift stores that support worthy causes. If I think the school media center where I teach would benefit from having a book, I give it to them.

I didn't used to be able to part with books, and still find it difficult, but I've reached a point in my life where I want fewer things. I don't like to dust so I have fewer nick nacks and so on. I have limited space for books so I have to make choices. I keep books that speak to me in some way and which I know I'll want to read again. I have collections by certain authors, collections of writers from the region I live in, a poetry chap book collection, a history collection, a how to collection for gardening and other such topics, books in Spanish and books in Portuguese, and so on. I'm not sure what I'll do when I've read them all and given away the ones I don't want to keep. Put an addition on the house? ;-)

message 48: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 7 comments I feel like I am throwing away something too precious. If it is a book I have purchased myself, then I rarely give it away or throw it out. If someone else has given it to me or I got it for free then I may be a little more likely to throw it out. If I feel a twing of pain, I cannot part with it.

message 49: by Christina (new)

Christina | 26 comments Be still my heart!! Throw a book away -- never!! Donate it or, if you have a yard/garage sale, put up a table with the books that you no longer want and sell them for a reduced price. You would be amazed how people flock to them. You bring in a little cha-ching and can rest knowing that the life of the book will live on!

message 50: by Sam (new)

Sam (ecowitch) | 42 comments I have occasionally taken books that I've read to local charity or second hand book shops but I could never get rid of books that I haven't read, I find it hard enough getting rid of those I've read and that I know I wont read ever again. I'm much better at buying books now (generally as I don't go in book shops as much) and will only buy those I know I'm going to keep or that I've lent from somewhere and enjoyed reading.

On another note I've actually moved 3 times in the past 3 years because I've ran out of space for all my books and I can see that trend continuing for sometime yet. Think I'm going to have to buy a mansion at some point if I keep on lol

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