Home Forums Welcome Hello! Old Textbooks?

This topic contains 26 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Avatar of bookgator bookgator 2 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #158743
    Avatar of Ox
    Ox
    Member

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do with old textbooks?

    I’m a compulsive hoarder that’s been working on my problem for 15 years. I’ve hung on to a lot of papers from high school and college and a lot of textbooks from college since I had to purchase them. I graduated from college 15 years ago in another state so the textbooks I have aren’t in use at any of the area colleges here and probably are no longer in use at all. They also have been written in extensively since, as a hoarder, I thought I’d keep them forever. I’m pretty sure the local used bookstores wouldn’t take them and they don’t even show up in swaptree’s database. Should I dump them on Goodwill or the library? Freecycle? Or should they just be thrown in the garbage? Specifically I’m wanting to part with textbooks from my French class, if that matters. Any suggestions are welcome.

  • #169513
    Avatar of Nithy
    Nithy
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    I work at a library in a college town. We have a book sale twice a year, and we do get textbooks donated. I don’t know how well they sell, especially the old ones. Something to consider: The odds are good that nobody else really needs your 15-year-old textbooks, so if you do donate your books to Goodwill or the library, they may just be going into another hoarder’s collection.

  • #169515
    Avatar of loripax
    loripax
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    Most libraries have book sales of donated books once in a while to raise money, and (around here at least) many collage and other artists will scour them for older books to use in their art. While some may shudder at that idea, at least they’re being used for something other than filling up the landfill. Unless your library states that they don’t want textbooks older than XX years for their sale, donate them there, take the writeoff, and be done with it.

    French textbooks don’t get nearly as dated as, say, science textbooks, so there’s always the chance that someone wanting to learn the language will pick them up and be happy to have them, too. I’ve done exactly that a couple of times over the years to get an overview in a new subject or one I need a refresher on (e.g., world history, when I started doing a lot more editing work in that field).

  • #169521
    Avatar of kllycat
    kllycat
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    You could ask a local homeschooling association if they want them, especially if it’s a subject that doesn’t get very dated, like French.

  • #169605
    Avatar of BettyBoop
    BettyBoop
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    Better World Books (http://www.betterworldbooks.com/) is a great organization that collects donated books, sells them online, and then donates the money to literacy initiatives. They have book drop boxes all over the country, so you might want to check them out to see if there’s a donation box near you.

  • #169614
    Avatar of luxcat
    luxcat
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    I would google “sell textbooks” and see what pops up. there are several sites out there that you can type in the ISBN # and see if the books are still usable/sellable today. I know when I was in college many of my professors liked older textbooks (especially for certain topics like art) and had us purchase those. If they are science or computer textbooks, I would probably recycle them as paper.

  • #169616
    Avatar of charmed2482
    charmed2482
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    I put a mine and my boyfriend’s old text books on Book mooch and so far I’ve gotten rid of all but one of them, so the got a new home. I doubt you could sell them, but someone might want them. I don’t think most libraries or thrift stores will be able to sell them. At the very least maybe put it in the recycle bin and make sure it gets recycled. The goodwill I used to work for would recycle books they couldn’t sell so maybe a thrift store can recycle it, you could call around and ask if they take books for salvage, they get a few cents a lbs from them, which ads up fast since books are heavy.

  • #169663
    Avatar of ValH
    ValH
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    I would personally bring them to the library bookstore. I have bought used textbooks at ours and have really benefited from that. It is a nice resource when you find something you want to study.

  • #169678
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    Definitely really depends on a) your geographic area and b) the condition of the books. If you wouldn’t want to buy it new (i.e. all marked-up), nobody else is going to want to buy it used.

    In L.A., Goodwill won’t take nonfiction, much less textbooks. They can’t sell these, and don’t have a paper-recycling arm here, so they won’t accept them. I only give nonfiction to our library’s Friends store, and then only if it’s in near-perfect condition.

    One day soon I hope to be decluttering 8 linear feet of DH’s textbooks (from THIRTY years ago!). They will be going straight into the dumpster.

  • #169681
    Avatar of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    Hmmmm, our library/friends group will not take textbooks more than about 5 years old. I have heard though that you can take off the hard covers and recycle the paper, which is a little better than throwing away the whole thing! If I’m taking a class I always try to get a used textbook….

  • #170289
    Avatar of whattotrash
    whattotrash
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    recycle them and be free!

  • #170292
    Avatar of trillie
    trillie
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    Hrm, selling and donating has been covered… So I’m going to suggest equally fun stuff :o)
    * In another thread someone suggested making a secret hollow book
    * Neatorama just recently featured Paper rings made from books
    * You could make lamps like these from old books
    * Or a counter or table maybe
    * Or you could use pages from old books as wallpaper

    :o)

  • #170302
    Avatar of erksh
    erksh
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    They are garbage.

    Quite thinking about them and throw them away.

    Give yourself the gift of mental and physical space.

  • #170307
    Avatar of luxcat
    luxcat
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    check here to see if they have any value, and if they do not, then recycle them

    http://bookscouter.com/

    when I was in college some professors had us use older textbooks for certain classes like art history, etc and because they were out of print they could be expensive and hard to find. but if the link above says “value 0″… recycle them like paper.

  • #170324
    Avatar of rueishness
    rueishness
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    My brother has been hoarding these things as well. Every once in a while he gets rid of a few by taking them to a local used bookstore. He usually gets a little bit of money for them (though of course not a lot). You could always call to see if they would accept them.

    You might also try calling some textbook stores in your area. There was one in my college town that if they couldn’t buy it back, they would give you $1 per book and recycle it for you.

    If you can’t find anywhere to accept them, I’d simply give up the battle and recycle them.

  • #170405
    Avatar of RobinW
    RobinW
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    The local community college here collects textbooks to send to third world nations. There is still a lot of valuable information to be learned from a older text book.

  • #170417
    Avatar of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    they make excellent doorstops :) My big chemistry books prop my bedroom door open (all our doors are on self-closers) and when the kids were little they used them to reach the light switches.
    I think it really depends on the subject and the textbook, my cousin gave me a stack of old psychology books and they are really out of date and aren’t suitable for my courses, I haven’t opened any of them so donated almost all of them. Most papers I can find online, even my course books I have on PDFs on my e-reader.

  • #170418

    Old Textbooks?

    My local library does not accept textbooks as donations. If the books are 15 years old I would recommend finding a way to recycle them. My textbooks from year to year in college would be considered “outdated” so I would assume that these would be as well. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is make sure that they don’t end up in a landfill and see if they can be recycled!

    My sister sells her books on half.com, but right after her college semester ends so that she can get the best value for them.

    Let us know what you decide to do – I would be curious to know becaue I have some friends who also want to find a place to get rid of their old textbooks!

  • #170576
    Avatar of sjwilde
    sjwilde
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    No one wants them. If anyone did, you would have found a market for them. Don’t waste energy taking or sending them anywhere. See if your local garbage company recycles them with paper, otherwise throw them in the trash. If you make a moral issue out of getting rid of things, you’ll never unclutter.

  • #170594
    Avatar of onedersara
    onedersara
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    I also recommend googling places to sell textbooks. Last summer I finally ditched all my college books, and made over $100 even 8 years out of school. It took a bit of work comparing a few different sites, and some of them did only go to Better World for a buck or two, but it was worth the time to me. They all give you free shipping labels too.

  • #170598
    Avatar of erksh
    erksh
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    Okay, you MAY be able to make a buck or two on these if you spend hours figuring it out, researching the best deal, ordering free labels, boxing and shipping…when, exactly, is all of that going to happen?

    You’ve stated that you have been working on a major hoarding problem for more than a decade.

    The best advice, I maintain, for YOU is to let them go. Right now. And move on to more valuable pursuits.

    Most of these suggestions are a disaster for a compulsive hoarder.

  • #170712

    Old Textbooks?

    If there is a craft/scrapbooking store in your area, you could donate the books to them for ‘repurposing’. I’ve seen many projects where hardback bookcovers are used, etc. No matter what, it’s great that you have an endgame option: recycling! Good luck!

  • #170727
    Avatar of margaret
    margaret
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    I have to agree with erksh. It is okay to just recycle or trash (sorry environmentalists, but some places make recycling VERY difficult) them. If you REALLY feel that you have to make some effort, I would do a quick post on a freecycle type website OR a quick email to your old university library asking if they would accept a donation of textbooks from 15 years ago. I’m pretty sure the university would say no. You might get someone who needs books to pick them up, but I would only give it a week and if you don’t get a response, then be done with them. As erksh points out, if you have been working on compulsive hoarding for more than a decade, then you have bigger fish to fry than trying to find the perfect home for old textbooks. You don’t have to find a perfect home for anything — you only have so much time and so much energy to deal with things. You are more important than any of your stuff.

  • #171669
    Avatar of repete
    repete
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    Reading this thread inspired me to toss almost all of my old textbooks. Three large boxes of them. My husband rescued a few that he forgot I had. He’s a college professor in the same field, so he will actually use them.

    @Ox How did things turn out for you?

  • #171675
    Avatar of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    margaret! <3 “You are more important than any of your stuff.” AWESOME.

  • #171691
    Avatar of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    i agree with erksh and others.
    recycle them or trash them and be done with them.

    margaret “you are more important than an of your stuff”….that is simply terrific!

  • #207608
    Avatar of bookgator
    bookgator
    Member

    Old Textbooks?

    there are many websites online where you can actually sell them or have them swapped with other books. http://bookgator.com is one of them. Give it a try.

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