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What to do with books you've read?

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message 1: by Georg (new)

Georg (georgwille) | 6 comments I got some new book shelves recently and with them the chance to get parts of my book collection out of their storage boxes. Going through these titles, it occurred to me that at least half of them I will never take a second look at again, let alone re-read them. I didn't even miss most of them while they were still in the boxes!

What to do with these books?

I subscribe to some journals which each cost about as much as a (cheap) paperback book. I have no trouble throwing the journals out when I'm through with them, but with the books I feel more inhibited. It seems "uncivilized" to put them in the recycling bin.

Experience also shows that public libraries don't take everything (apparently I'm not the only one suffering from book infestation), and selling them on Ebay is too much hassle for too little money.

So, how do you cope with the flood of finished books?



message 2: by DivaDiane (new)

DivaDiane Georg wrote: "I got some new book shelves recently and with them the chance to get parts of my book collection out of their storage boxes. Going through these titles, it occurred to me that at least half of them..."

Yes, take them to almost any used book store and you may, or may not get some money for them, but at least you are not simply tossing them. You could probably do the same with the journals.

A library would be more likely to take hard cover books off your hands than paperbacks.


message 3: by Georg (new)

Georg (georgwille) | 6 comments When I was visiting Berkeley, I was fascinated by the marvelous second-hand book stores there. Unfortunately, they are far less common here in Germany, and another problem is that a good part of my books are in English, which makes them even less likely to be picked up by a second-hand shop.

I'll probably give it a try at the next flea market though, they happen regularly here.


message 4: by Luke (new)

Luke Burrage (lukeburrage) | 289 comments Mod
If you ever visit Berlin, check out Another Country: http://www.anothercountry.de/

They get all my used books. They also have a automatic buyback policy, so it's virtually a borrowing library where each book costs 1 euro 50.

Because I buy new books, I pay for my borrowing by donating those books, so for each new book I buy I get 3 or 4 books worth of reading!

Hence; my shelves are pretty empty. I keep no books when I'm done reading them. Fiction books, that is. Non-fiction I keep.


message 5: by DivaDiane (new)

DivaDiane Sorry Georg, didn't realize you are in Germany too! You can always try BookMooch.com I've gotten rid of a lot of books that way. You post your inventory on the site and other people request them. You send them and get points towards receiving books from other people on the site. You get more points for sending overseas, but postage can get expensive.


message 6: by Georg (new)

Georg (georgwille) | 6 comments Thanks for the links! I'll probably be in Berlin in June - a few kilos of books I think I could handle bringing along.

Bookmooch seems to have some network problems, but I'll check it out at the next opportunity - seems to be just what I want!


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I rarely sell or give away books when I'm done. My house is probably better stocked than a small town library. When I moved from the East coast to the West coast I had to get rid of a couple hundred books and sold them to used books stores, but on a few occasions I've repurchased copies.




message 8: by Galen (new)

Galen | 3 comments Greg, I also have trouble getting rid of my books, especially ones that I like.

The few I do manage to get rid of are usually because I loan them to a friend and never see them again. My dog also managed to get rid of one of my books for me when I first got him and he was a puppy. I was reading "Counting Heads" (which by the way has a great story in the first 100 pages and then just should have been stopped). I finally got through it and left it on the nightstand...needless to say he found it and ironically shredded the back half of the book. He didn't touch the other two books below it either.


message 9: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Georg wrote: "I got some new book shelves recently and with them the chance to get parts of my book collection out of their storage boxes. Going through these titles, it occurred to me that at least half of them..."

Hey Georg i'm new here. Saw ur question and had to let u know that you should definitely put the books you don't want on paperbackswap.com and swaptree.com they are both totally free and people request books from you and you get the books that u want sent to you. Paperbackswap.com has so many tons of books, when i signed up they were giving new members 2 credits for the first 10 books u list. 1 credit equals 1 book, so as soon as u post a few books u have 2 credits to request 2 books u want. there is no shipping or handling or anything. You just request it and it gets sent to u for free. when someone requests one of ur books u send it to them and receive a credit for it to request any book u want.
On swaptree.com the site sets up 3-way trades between people. this is also absolutely free and u just send ur book to someone and one gets sent to u at the same time.
ever since i have found these 2 sites i get to get rid of all my old books and get new ones to read all the time. I love it! Also both these sites have wishlists where u mark the books u want if they're not available right then and when they are available they get offered to you automatically when it's your turn in line, if there are other people wishing too.


message 10: by Tom (new)

Tom Rowe (spinnerrowe) | 21 comments When I was younger, me and my friends used to gift each other our old books at Christmastime instead of going out and spending money on gifts. It was great fun. Now we mostly get books from the library. Another idea is to leave a book in a public place for someone else to find and enjoy. You can even sign up on a website like bookcrossing.com. Here you give your book a code, and if someone finds it and reads it, they can log it into a database and you can track where you book has traveled.


message 11: by Michael (new)

Michael Minutillo (wolfbyte) I must admit that I have a tendency to hang on to books for a long time. A lot longer that I should really. To be fair though I do re-read many of my books and since having kids there is a whole selection there of books that I'd love to hang on to so that they can read them when they get old enough. Swaptree and Paperbackswap look very interesting. I might give them a go.


message 12: by Nick (new)

Nick Hawkins (NickJH) | 5 comments I donate decent surplus books to charity.

Beat-up old paperbacks and outdated reference books get burnt in the stove to supplement my winter heating.


message 14: by Klaus (new)

Klaus Varias (abmgw) Whenever I finish a book, I move it to the "read" folder on my kindle.


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