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!
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.
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 and Half 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.
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.
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.
● Swap.com: Sell or swap your old books and pack your trades into a single shipment.
● What’s On My Bookshelf: Trade books using a simple point system, and be alerted when your wishlist titles become available.
● Monster Trade: Aimed specifically at students who want to trade books, movies 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
● Better World Books
● Books 4 Cause
● International Book Donations Program
● Donation Town
● Got Books?
● Africa Heartwood Project
● Kids Need To Read
● We Give Books
● 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.
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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