Thursday, July 25, 2013

Weed Out Your Bookshelves

Is this the coolest library ever? On our recent trip to England, we spent one night in a 500 year old country inn. As I was walking around the area after breakfast, I spied this old telephone booth which served as a lending library for the local folk. What a super way to get rid of some of the books you no longer want--donate them to the library. There were no rules or regulations posted. There was no librarian. It appeared to be run on the honor system. Maybe people take a book, read it, and then return a different book. Or perhaps they bring back the book they've read for others to select.

What do you do with books you've read and don't particularly want or need to keep forever? Bookshelves hold only so many, and if you are a person who likes to buy books, it doesn't take too long until the shelves are filled and overflowing into piles on the floor, table or wherever.

You can, of course, sell them at a consignment shop or online or through your own personal ad--even at a garage sale. But there are ways to clean up your personal library and help others by donating the books to various places.

Many public libraries have Friends groups that conduct book sales. They look for donations of books year round. My local library has a once-a-year book sale but they also have a section of the library devoted to used books for sale for very nominal prices. I often purchase a book there, read it, and then donate it back to them to sell again.

Donate books to a thrift shop. People who must stretch every dollar until it screams seldom have an opportunity to purchase a book. A thrift shop might charge only 25 cents which makes it doable for those who would love to own a book or to buy one for a child.

There are groups looking for book donations that will then send them overseas to give away to those who crave reading and/or owning a book but cannot do so on their own.

I read not long ago that there is a need for paperbacks to be given to our military personnel stationed overseas.

Many churches have small libraries that depend on donations. Hospitals sometimes have book carts that volunteers wheel to patient rooms.

All you need to do is google where to donate used books or something close to that and you'll come up with a list. Or check with your local Chamber of Commerce for suggestions.

Giving away your used books cleans up your house, helps someone else, and allows you to buy more books guilt-free. So, start weeding out your bookshelves soon.

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