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Revive a Dead Thread > Free Books from the Public Library

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message 1: by Mosca (last edited Oct 01, 2009 11:10AM) (new)

Mosca | 828 comments Maybe I'm getting so out of touch in my dotage that something very common to others is new and remarkable to me.

But yesterday I discovered that the 5 or 6 free-standing shelves and paperback book carousels at my local public library are intended for free giveaway paperback books. The librarians explained that they don't like to maintain non-hardback books; and that this way they don't have to catalogue, inventory, nor protect these fragile and frequently nonvaluable books that they receive as hand-me-downs. We users can bring in old paperbacks we no longer want; and we can take home any we find for free, whether we donate paperbacks or not. The librarians provide a minimum of genre cataloguing for the books--but no promises. After all, the books are free.

Does your local library provide a similar service? does another local group or organization provide a similar service?

What treasures have you uncovered?

Myself--yesterday I found four books I've been searching for (previously unsuccessful in any location); and brought them home to my permanent library:

Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake
Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
The Gate to Women's Country by Sheri S. Tepper

This thread is to discuss free book services and to show off your hoard.


message 2: by Fiona (new)

Fiona (bookcoop) My library doesn't, but I think the Naval cemetery does.

Yep, cemeteries and books - who'd guess? They are great places to sit and read though.


message 3: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (TNBBC) | 9510 comments Mod
Mosca, I moved your thread to the General Book Related Banter folder, since it's more general....

I stopped into two of my local libraries (that never hold their own sales) and found that one had free books to give away, but they were mostly romance (ick!) so no dice there....


message 4: by jessi (new)

jessi (infinitevantage) | 86 comments Lori wrote: "Mosca, I moved your thread to the General Book Related Banter folder, since it's more general....

I stopped into two of my local libraries (that never hold their own sales) and found that one ha..."


Even if you don't want them, pick them up and post them on paperbackswap or something...


Abigail (42stitches) | 360 comments That's actually really interesting. My libraries always had a cart with a money box. They did sales every few months, but the cart always had a lot of different stuff on it for 50 cents or a dollar. My new library has a whole walk-in closet room with books for a dollar. But no free ones. That is really cool.


message 6: by Mosca (last edited Oct 01, 2009 10:32AM) (new)

Mosca | 828 comments Just a bit more background:

This choice was made locally, based on the question of what to do with randomly-received paperback book donations. The local library is under-funded, under-staffed, and short of space. The local community around here is usually economically challenged and less wealthy than the American norm. In today's economy, the situation is even more difficult. So the set-up is apparently based upon tight money.

The reason that I'm talking about the local economic condition is because a number of you might find yourselves wanting to suggest it to your own public library. If you do, what needs to be clarified is that this is a way for a library to reduce costs and save on permanent storage, while still providing a valuable local service. In tight times, people appreciate free books.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) | 1736 comments I think it's a great idea, Mosca.


message 8: by Renata (new)

Renata | 67 comments Mosca, I also found the Gormanghast trilogy at my local library. What a find!


Teresa in Ohio  (teresainohio) I didn't get them for free BUT I got Harry Potter 5 and 6 for 1.00 TOTAL


message 10: by Lindalee (new)

Lindalee Stahlman (Lindalees) | 22 comments Our public library sells books (discards and donations they don't want/need in their collection)- 25 cents for paperbacks and 50 cents for hardbacks.
But our local community college (Labette Community College in Parsons, KS) has a free paperback rack. They do ask that you bring others in exchange for what you take but I asked permission and have taken one to read and then returned it to the free rack without having to give one to the rack.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Gormenghast (other topics)
The Gate to Women's Country (other topics)
The Martian Chronicles (other topics)
Titus Groan (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Mervyn Peake (other topics)
Ray Bradbury (other topics)
Sheri S. Tepper (other topics)