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While we all love books, sometimes we do need to declutter them so that we can buy more books. We only have so much room in our homes, right? This post shares a detailed list of Used Book Donation Places and tips. Plus, how to organize the treasured books you have left. Read on, and let's declutter them today!
How to Declutter Books in Your Home
First, let’s talk about decluttering those unwanted books. There are a variety of books you can visit in your home.
Questions to ask yourself when you are decluttering your books
When deciding on what books to declutter, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I need this book for any purpose?
- Is this a reference book?
- Can I give this book to someone who will treasure it?
- Does the book have dust on it?
- Would you buy this book again today? Would you buy it at the same price you bought it then?
- Are you keeping this book so you can reach a future goal? Is it still useful? Are there other ways to still reach this goal without keeping this book?
- When should I get rid of this book?
- Have I finished reading the book? Do I remember the story ?
- Does my local library have the book so I can borrow it?
These answers should guide you in making a decision on if you should get rid of the book.
Feel free to visit this video by Diana Chu Slow Gaze's DECLUTTER YOUR BOOKS FAST (The best questions to ask!). She explains her personal process and questions to ask yourself when going through your books.
Remember to free yourself from the guilt. It's OK, you are not alone. We all collect things. Now, it is time to let things go.
Remember that when you add the book in the box or bag, that it is not to be brought back into the house. Physically take it out of your home as soon as possible to allow for the completion of the decluttering task.
Now, let's get to the decluttering and where to donate the old books.
Textbooks and Reference Books
The first type of books are textbooks and reference books. Textbooks are dated material and can quickly get outdated. If you didn’t sell the textbooks back to the school right after you used them, you may not be able to get money for them.
Textbook editions come out every 3-5 years, and when they come out, the older textbooks are no longer in demand.
Where do you donate or recycle textbooks?
- If you want to sell textbooks, you can try selling them on BookDeal.com.
- You can donate the textbook to a friend who will be taking the class you had.
- You can send your textbooks to Books Through Bars. They get the books to incarcerated people. You can contact them through their email address on this page to see what they are looking for.
- Donate these textbooks to a school library.
- Donate textbooks to a non-profit organization.
If you want to see if you can sell the textbooks, feel free to visit the section below: SELL THE BOOKS OPTIONS.
Cookbooks can easily be collected over the years as well as inherited. So, going through them and getting rid of the ones you do not refer to will save you lots of space.
Where do I donate or recycle cookbooks?
Below is a list of places to donate cookbooks.
- Salvation Army - If you have a Salvation Army near you, you can search to see what they sell. Use the link to find the store near you.
- Goodwill(R) - Goodwill may accept cookbooks in your area.
- Donate to a friend, family member, grandchild, or your children.
If your cookbooks are not acceptable to donate, you can take them apart and keep only the recipes you tried.
While doing this research, I came across a bookstore in New York City that only sells Cookbooks. Boonie Sltnick Cookbooks, an Out-of-Print & Antiquarian Store in NYC, who has unique cookbooks. It doesn't say if she accepts cookbooks, but it is worth a try to reach out to her to get more information on donating them.
Self Help Books
If you collect self-help books, many of them can become outdated over a 5-year period or longer. So, if you collect these self-help books, you may want to review them and donate or recycle them.
Where can you donate or recycle self-help books?
Many places that accept books will also accept self-help books. Below are some options for you.
- Goodwill - Find the location closest to you to see if they will accept these books.
- Reach out to your local library to see if they are looking for these books.
- Build a Little Free Library and install it in the front yard of your home. Then, add these books, plus other ones, to it.
- Give them to like-minded individuals, family, friends, children, etc...
- PickUpPlease - will accept self-help books, textbooks, magazines, hardcover, softcover, children's books, fiction, and non-fiction. It is a free pickup.
If you have books in your industry that you have looked at for a while but haven't used in years, these books would be good to be donated.
Where can you donate or recycle business books?
There are several places that will accept business books. They can be older or newer.
- Local Libraries, especially if they have a more extensive section of business.
- Goodwill(R)- Most Goodwill locations will accept books. But you should check out your local Goodwill site online to confirm.
- Business School libraries in your area - Some business school libraries can use business books, like management, leadership, etc...
The next books you may want to donate are scrapbooks. Scrapbooks are usually created by individual people, and getting rid of them can be difficult. If you have scrapbooks that you don’t look at any longer and want to get rid of them, there are plenty of places to recycle them.
Where can you donate or recycle scrapbooks?
- You can donate your scrapbooks to your family historian. The person who will keep it safe and hand it down to the appropriate person when it is time.
- You can also give it to a child or sibling. A close family member is also a good option when you want to donate a scrapbook .
- Donate Your Personal or Family Records to a Repository. You can donate your scrapbook , plus things like audio or videos, to a repository. Society of American Archivists has a great article to help you with this. Read more here. "Repositories are more interested in a coherent body of material rather than individual items, and they prefer to receive the original items rather than copies."
Technology Manuals and Books
If technology equipment has been recycled or donated, it is time to let go of the technology manuals and books. Before donating these items, be sure they have all the pages and they are not waterlogged.
Where can you donate or recycle technology manuals and books?
Below is a list of ways you can recycle or donate technology manuals.
- Try donating them to your local library. Even if they are not updated to the most recent technology, it doesn't mean someone can't use them.
- Ebay - you can even sell your manuals/books on eBay. Write in your description in the Shop by Category section to see if anybody is selling your manuals/books.
Fiction and Non-fiction books
Fiction and nonfiction books are usually read and left on a shelf collecting dust if we just don’t care too much about them. If these are what your books look like, it may be time to donate them.
Where can you donate or recycle fiction and non-fiction books?
- Donate to a thrift store that has lots of books.
- Give to a book outlet that resells the books at a discount. Some of them may even donate to charities.
- Check the local library to see if they sell used or old books as a fundraiser. The Perkiomen Valley Library accepts donations of books ON THE 1st Tuesday of each month, 5-7 PM. USE THE AUDITORIUM ENTRANCE ON CHURCH STREET.
- Visit the Share Your Books website for donation locations near you. YOu can also visit the local book donation Map of America website to find books in the U.S.
- Check with your trash/recycle company to see if they will accept hardback or softback books for recycling.
Keep in mind that hardback books can't be recycled easily because of the glue and hardcover. If you do decide to recycle them and can't donate them, you will need to remove the front, back, and binding.
From parenting and baby books to teenager books, some of these books will probably be able to be donated. It can easily be given away or donated.
What can I do with kids' book donations?
- In the Collegeville, PA area, The Perkiomen Valley Library accepts donations of books ON THE 1st Tuesday of each month, 5-7 PM. USE THE AUDITORIUM ENTRANCE ON CHURCH STREET.
- In Philadelphia, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia also accepts kids books. They accept board books for infants and toddlers (newborns, 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 24, and 30 months old).
- Books for Africa - You can mail the books to Books for Africa Warehouse - Georgia 1491 Cobby Industrial Drive, Bldg B, Marietta, GA 30066 USA. Please consider giving a donation as well to cover the costs of shipping the books you donate.
- Cradles to Crayons - Philadelphia branch, Boston branch, and Chicago branch. Each of these locations will have their own list of donations. The Philadelphia location does accept kids' books from ages 0 to 12 years.
- Project Night Night - They have a few locations (Michigan and California). They accept a variety of things. The Books they are looking for are ones that are for ages 0 to pre-teens. No heavy books. Books must be new.
- Nicu Helping Hands - You can mail your donation to them in Fort Worth, Texas. Visit their website for more details.
Sell the Books options
Not all books can be sold, but if you are looking for some places to sell books, check out my post called, Best Ways to Turn Junk into Cash.
Keep in mind that most of these stores require an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). It is a registration code inside the dust jacket or on the barcode. If your book is older than 1970, it might not have one.
Below is a list of places to sell different books online:
- Books Run - they buy back books and textbooks and guarantee a quick and fair book-selling process.
- BookScouter - You can sell or buy books. 30+ vendors compete to buy your books. You can compare offers with a single search and find the highest buyback price easily.
- Book Deal - In the Philadelphia area, you can check out this site to help you sell your books.
- eBay - eBay is helpful for selling books.
- And, of course, Amazon also sells used books and textbooks. They have a post that talks about what type of books you can sell online if you want more information. Amazon said that you can request an exemption in order to sell the book in the Amazon store if it doesn't have an ISBN on it.
How to organize the kept books
Now that the unwanted books are removed, it’s time to organize the books left. Bookshelves and other shelving are great options to organize your treasured books. Feel free to visit my post about how to organize books.
Below are a few examples of bookshelves you may want to use to display these books.
Get more ideas? Visit my post on 7 BOOK STORAGE SOLUTIONS FOR SMALL SPACES to get more ideas.
Are you a DIYer? Feel free to visit a Bookshelf update I did in a DIY Project post.
How to organize your books on a bookshelf.
After you have donated your used books to the right donation places or persons, you will now need to revisit the books you love.
There are a variety of ways you can organize your beloved books. Below are just a few.
- You can easily divide your books into sections by type of book.
- Divide the books in order by author name, like the library.
- Sort the books by color for a more aesthetically pleasing look.
- Sort by type and lay like books on their side and others standing vertically on a shelf.
- Keep all the same author's books together.
- If you have a series, you can easily keep those books together.
Whichever method you use, be consistent, and when books come and go again, keep them with your system.
And there you have it. I hope this post helps you find the right used book donation place to motivate you to declutter and organize your remaining books. Making room for new, much-loved books and getting rid of ones you don’t want to have any longer benefits not only you and your home but also the recipients of these books. Passing on knowledge is super important, too.