Get rid of that library of clutter

I have a friend that has a library of books he doesn’t read. They sit in stacks or on shelves in his basement. He definitely has his favorites which he rereads, but for the most part he has tomes that haven’t been opened in ten years. He’ll gladly lend them out to friends, but they MUST return them. He basically has become a library of sorts, but without the mandatory library card and the no talking rule.

There are certainly books that you should hang on to. For example, personal all-time favorites that you will probably read again; reference books that are not outdated; historic and possibly valuable books should also be kept. You can probably get rid of that paperback copy of The Shining, but don’t throw it away. Take all of your books to a book consignment shop or better yet donate them. Operation Paperback is a non-profit, grassroots program that collects used books and sends them to American troops deployed overseas. The National Book Foundation also has a list of book donation locations. Getting rid of your book clutter can also enlighten others.

8 Comments for “Get rid of that library of clutter”

  1. posted by Billie on

    The local public library is also a great place to drop off donations of books and other media.

  2. posted by Glenn F. Henriksen on

    Try Bookcrossing, release your books into the wild!

    Register your book on the web, write a note inside the book with a code, leave it at a public place and hopefully someone will see it, pick it up and register it. Believe it or not, but it’s exciting to see your books travel.

  3. posted by Rick on

    If you have the storage space, you can put all of your seldom read books into a big box and put it there just in case. If you scan all of your books into software such as delicious library you can always know what is availible at a glance. Moreover, you can make good use of your collection by lending out tons of material without worrying about loosing track of everything.

    This is system is especially handy for reference books that you need to have around but rarely use. For easy access, label your boxes and have reference “shelves” in the library software.

  4. posted by Stormy on

    Or you can use a site like Paperbackswap,, to trade your books!

  5. posted by Alex Fayle on

    When I got rid of my books, I did so in stages. I went through my bookcases and pulled out ones I was pretty sure I didn’t want. But instead of getting rid of them right away, I put them in the basement for 6 months (in airtight containers). After that, I went through them again, pulled a couple that I missed out, but then called a local book sale (Trinity Book Sale for those in Toronto) and they came and picked up the books for me.

    It was a great way to try out a book purge without actually committing to it.

  6. posted by M on

    OMG I just CAN’T get rid of my books. I ocassionally shed excess “book weight” by donating to my local school fete and Bookcrossing is fun. But ALL OF THEM? No no no, I can’t look at this post any longer. Must recuperate by buying a new book…

  7. posted by starpause on

    another great place to unload your old books is bookmooch. it’s like paperback swap.

    it can take a while for your books to disappear because people have to request them before you mail them out, but it can be more satisfying knowing that someone who really wanted the book got it.

  8. posted by Elizabeth on

    FYI – most libraries do not have a no talking rule!

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