Monday, January 21, 2008

Some of us DO have too many books

I am trying to pare down in many ways right now. We're to the point where we either buy more bookshelves, or I get rid of a few books. There are books piled on top of the shelves, shoved in on top of other books, and then there was the catastrophic failure of some bookshelves downstairs. The new bookshelves aren't in the budget, so we need to go with the other option. Many of the books are beloved, but some of them are those crappy literary equivalents of friends who you've lost track of and really aren't that interested in reconnecting with.

Here are some ideas (starting with a list I got from Lucky Magazine quite some time ago):

As I go through my shelves, I am able to donate or recycle paperbacks fairly easily.
Donate: Central Market has a can to donate them to the family library for MD Anderson. What could be a more appropriate place to send chick lit? Those people need some fluff!
Swap: I have recently been sucked into the PaperBack Swap cult. I am more interested in sending off some books and hoarding the credits for those chick lit books that the library never gets and I want to read but don't want to keep.

Hardcovers are a little harder:
Book Rescue will take hardcovers that can be used in schools. They'll also take random hardcovers to be recycled with a $5 donation.
Book Thing takes books and gives them to people. How cool is that?
The Housing Works Used Book Cafe in New York takes donations by mail.
Books for America takes many kinds of books (except hardcover fiction)
Reach Out and Read gives books to kids

Of course, I am also trying to (gasp) buy fewer books. Do I want to keep it forever? Can I get it from the library? If I can't get it from the library but I don't want to keep it forever, can I donate or share it? Can I wait until it's in paperback/on the $5.99 table? Can I get it from PaperBack Swap and then send it away when I'm done with it? I've gotten tired of the tower of books I haven't read yet. I feel guilty about spending the money and making a mess in my home.


Julie said...

Yeah, it was REALLY hard to convince Tim we didn't need to keep every book we'd ever read or owned. But we took a trip to Half Price Books about a year ago and got rid of box after box of books, gaining $95 in the process. Now I'm much more open to thinning the herd. I just keep my favorites, ones I'll want to lend out. Although we still have our play addiction. That herd could definitely be thinned!

K in the Mirror said...

Also try if you haven't. They're pretty specific about which books they'll accept, mostly nonfiction, but they tell you right then if they want it, and then you print out a prepaid postage label to wrap it in, send it off at no charge to you, and when they get it they put money in your paypal account.

I usually don't have the kind of books they're looking for, but I have had a few.

Shoeaddict said...

I definatly need to get rid of books!

Manic Mom said...

Don't feel guilty about spending too much money and making a mess at home!!! THey're books!!! It's not like they're shoes or makeup or purses or things that you don't get anything from (Not that you don't get something of value from those things) but books, come on... those are my most cherished things I own. I love my books. Even the ones I have purchased and never read.

Kate said...

Manic! You're not helping! =)

Maybe I should have posted a pic of what our bookshelves look like right now.