How To Get Rid of Books

How To Get Rid of Books | bluchickenninja.com

You may have noticed I own quite a lot of books. Around this time every year I go through all the books I own and clear out the ones I don’t want. I do this mostly because I have limited space for books and there is no point keeping something just for it to sit on a shelf. So today I am going to share my process for purging books.

The first thing I do is just look at my shelves. It may seem pointless to mention it but this is what I do. I go through each shelf and pick out the books I’ve read and didn’t like. This is the easy bit. I then go back through my shelves and pick out any books that I’ve read and don’t have a close connection to. This is a bit more complicated. These are usually books that didn’t make me feel something.

Maybe it will be easier to explain my criteria for keeping a book. I keep books that:

  • I loved and may want to read again at some point in the future.
  • I have some sort of memory associated with them (this doesn’t need to be a book I’ve read).
  • They physically contain something I find interesting (I like collecting books that have been written in).

I go through this clearing out process a number of times. Usually not on the same day. This is because on the first pass I may have decided to save a book, but after going away and thinking for a while I realise I don’t actually have any reason to keep it.

Now the most difficult bit. Actually getting rid of the books. I do a mixture of donating them to charity and selling them. I don’t use websites like Amazon or Ebay. You could quite easily put your books up there to sell, but in my opinion that is far too much hassle. In the past I have used webuybooks.co.uk, this makes it really easy to sell books in bulk. You scan each barcode and the app will tell you if they will buy it and for how much. Then once you’ve scanned all your books you just box them up and arrange for a courier to collect them.

Websites like this won’t accept all the books you have for sale. Usually because they have too many copies of the book you are trying to sell or because it’s not worth anything. These books I donate to a local charity shop. People have all sorts of reasons why they choose specific charities but I take mine to my local Oxfam because one time the manager gave me a bunch of free Star Trek books.

I do this process once a year but I know of others who do it more regularly. It just depends on how quick books pile up, which can be frequent if you’re a book blogger.

Now if someone would like to tell me what they do with their ARCs that would be great.

Thanks for reading.
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16 Responses to “How To Get Rid of Books”

  1. CravenWild

    Great post! I love my books, but every now and then you have to think about which ones you should keep. I like your suggestions about selling them. 📚

    Reply
  2. relationspdbeverly

    I’ve never thought to try to sell my books. I usually just donate mine to the local libraries. I can’t stand the idea of throwing away a book and most of mine (and my mother who gives away a lot of them because she belonged to a book club) have only been read once and look brand new.

    Good tips, though, Bluchickenninja.

    Reply
  3. Run Wright

    Great process. I have also wondered what to do with ARCs so I hope someone weighs in on that topic. So far, I’ve just been sharing them with my friends.

    Reply
    • bluchickenninja

      It’s a good idea but from what I can see you can’t send used books to prisons in Scotland. They need to be new and come directly from a retailer.

      Reply
  4. Annalisa Crawford

    In my entire life, I’ve only given away two books – one of which I never finished. If I don’t have space in my house, they go in the loft. I tried, once, to throw some away, but every time I passed the pile I’d take another off it, until there were none left 🙂

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    That’s a good way to do it. I sometimes look at my shelves and think I don’t really want that book or this book but then I forget and they still sit there, when I could be giving them away to someone who might like them. I like the sound of that webuybooks.com.

    Nice bookshelf pic!

    http://gregsbookhaven.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  6. Lea Waterhouse

    Great post! I use the BookScanner app, which will show a variety of places and how much they’ll pay. ARCs…I just give to the library! 🙂

    Reply
  7. TeacherofYA

    You can’t usually give ARCs to the library bc they can’t sell or use them. You can trade them on booksfortrade or donate them to educators (we don’t care what version of the book we get). Then there’s always giveaways!
    Good luck!

    Reply
    • bluchickenninja

      See! It’s so complicated. I’ve come across a few in charity shops but I know you’re not supposed to do that. My mum suggested just throwing them in the bin but that feels wrong!

      Reply
      • TeacherofYA

        No!! Don’t do that. It’s such a waste! My friend Flavia tried to donate to a library and she had the same response. Since they are “promotional” they can’t use them. There are a lot of teachers and educators that can use them. Giveaways will help get followers and make people happy. A lot of times people will pay shipping for certain books on Twitter through PayPal (I have) to get them sent! There are so many beneficial ways to release them into the wild.
        Hell, there’s a bookstore I go to that’s used and they sell them even though they aren’t supposed to bc it’s people who donate them.
        I may not be local to you, but I know a lot of teachers would be thrilled!

        Reply
        • bluchickenninja

          Lol no I wouldn’t throw them in the bin. I was horrified at the thought of it. I have thought about doing giveaways, it’s just all the hassle that comes with it. Especially if you’re asking people to pay for shipping.

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