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How To Get Rid of Books with Little or No Value

Maintaining a home library is a great way to keep your favorite classics and important references at your fingertips, but if your book collection has started to rival the Great Library of Alexandria it’s time to weed out your dustiest volumes to make way for the new. Bibliophiles cringe at the thought of merely throwing old books away, but if you have books with little or no value it can prove difficult to find new homes in which they’ll be read and appreciated. The following details several ways to get rid of books with little or no value, many of which will even put some cash in your pocket – for new books, of course!

Do you have valuable books? See the best places to sell any used book for the most money

Check the Value of Your Books

Before you embark on your library-purging spree, be sure to check the actual market value of your books. Doing so allows you to determine whether you should try to sell, donate, or give your books away. Moreover, you don’t want to unwittingly part with a collectible volume that could be worth hundreds of dollars.

Your first stop: Direct Textbook. This free service lets you enter the name of a book title, author, or ISBN number to see what it’s currently selling for on popular online marketplaces such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Abe Books and more. Though the site focuses on textbooks, it will give real-time prices for almost any book. If you have a lot of books to look up, try Flipsy, another free service that lets you enter up to 100 ISBN numbers at a time to see current marketplace values for used books – and even receive instant offers to purchase some books. Once you know the value of your books, you’ll be able to make an educated decision about how to get rid of them.

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Sell Your Books

If your research yields book that have market value, you can attempt to sell them. Often, you can find a buyer for books with very little value if you know where to look. Here are several places you can try selling your old books.

Auction and Classifieds Websites

Auctions sites such as Ebay and classified listings websites such as Craigslist present opportunities to sell your old books. Conduct some research to see if others are currently selling your titles on these sites, and what they’re selling for. That will help you set your own pricing. If you struggle to sell your books, try listing several as a single lot.

Local Bookstores

Used bookstores typically sell books for around 50 percent of the cover price, and they’ll buy your old books for around 15 percent of the cover price. Your books will go farther if you’re in the market for more books, since most used bookstores will additionally offer around 20 percent store credit in lieu of cash.

Hobby Centers, Consignment Traders and Flea Markets

Hobby centers, consignment traders and flea markets are all great places to sell your used books as lots. Rather than set up your own booth, take your books to booth owners. Pack your book lots so that more attractive titles are mixed with less-desired titles so you can get rid of all of your books in a single sale – and aren’t left with a box of books no one wants.

Did You Know? The 2010 15th Edition of Enyclopedia Britannica can be worth thousands. Learn more

Garage Sales

If you, a friend or a family member is hosting a garage sale, feature your books for sale. Again, it can be easier to sell your books as lots rather than individual volumes. In addition, some organizations and churches host annual “white elephant” sales that allow you to essentially sell your old books on consignment. Whatever doesn’t sell can either be picked up or donated.

Trade Your Books

If you’re unable to sell your old books, you can still get value by trading them. The following lists book trading resources.
Paperback Swap: Trade your book and select from more than 4 million titles in return.
Book Mooch: Employs a point system for trades; cash your points in for more books.
Title Trader: Receive a “request credit” for each book you trade, then redeem your credit for anything on the site – books, CDs, DVDs and more.

Donate Your Books

If you can’t sell your old books or simply don’t want to go through the hassle of selling or trading, your next option is to donate them. Not only will you be rid of your unwanted books, you’ll be able to make a difference in the world by spreading the joy of reading to others. Make sure you inquire about your donation, as it might be tax-deductible. The following lists several book donation resources.

Local Book Donation Resources
The Salvation Army
Local thrift stores
Local shelters
Adult literacy programs
Charity book fairs

Online Book Donation Resources
Books for Soldiers
Books for Africa
Books Through Bars
Books to Prisoners
Books 4 Cause
Donation Town
Africa Heartwood Project
Kids Need To Read
Books for America
Reader to Reader

Give Your Books Away

Finally, if you just want to get rid of your old books but don’t want to throw them away, you can place an ad on freebie classifieds websites such as those listed below.
Craigslist (free category)
Trash Nothing
● Local classifieds Getting rid of your old books, even if they have little to no value, doesn’t have to be difficult. When you know where to get rid of books, you can free up space on your bookshelf and get cash, value or just the simple satisfaction of keeping stories alive in return.

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