Donating Books

January 19th, 2010 by Potato

We are fairly well-read people (in the sense that we read a lot, not that we’ve read all the classics), and own a buttload of books. I keep trying to rename our dining room “the library” since it’s basically wallpapered in bookshelves, but the name hasn’t stuck yet. Now as we find it’s time to move, we’re faced with the task of moving these hundreds and hundreds of heavy, heavy books.

We just don’t wanna.

After all, a lot of them we’re never going to read again, or loan out to friends to read, so why hold on to them? In just a brief round of going through the bookshelves, we found 5 boxes worth of books to pull out and discard without the slightest regret (i.e.: books we had zero emotional connection to and would have no desire to read again). The question became: what to do with them? We figured that they had to be worth something, and kept planning to haul them down to the used bookstore to see what we could get. Even if it was just a dime a book, that’d make the trip down worthwhile since we had so many.

Unfortunately, our time has been quite tight lately, especially during business hours, so we just haven’t gotten around to doing it. Now we’ve got just a few days left before the big move, and the damned books are still sitting there in their boxes, and we don’t want to move them! So, abandoning our plan to recoup some of the costs of these tomes, we started looking for convenience. Just any way to get rid of them that would be a step above the recycling pile. Much to our surprise, the London Public Library makes book donations very hassle-free: we called in and set up an appointment for a fellow to come to our house and pick the books up.

And of course, we love the library now: we can read all the books we want without having to pay for — or store them!

3 Responses to “Donating Books”

  1. Michael James Says:

    An acquaintance once told me that he took books he didn’t want any more and put them in the return slot at the library. It still makes me chuckle. He got to feel good about donating a book without the risk of finding out that the library didn’t want it. It’s sort of like donating money to help Haiti without checking whether the organization will actually be helping Haiti in any meaningful way.

    Your way is much better but less funny.

  2. Potato Says:

    Even if the library doesn’t want it, if the books are in reasonably good shape they’ll sell them from the library book store. The miscellaneous piles of books that probably won’t be in demand singly at the bookstore are put into bags for the bag-o-book sales they sometimes have.

  3. wayfare Says:

    Michael James – LOL

    Brief note from your friendly resident librarian: Please do not set your books free by dropping them off in the book slot at your library. This is a little like setting your child free by leaving them at the zoo. Yes, they may fit in nicely with many of their kind for a while, but eventually the people in charge will have to try and find out where they came from and why they are there, and there will be much confusion and paperwork. Please just drop them off in person. The librarians will not taunt you or reject your books. We are trained not to comment on your bizarre reading taste.

    Some of our books were also set free via Book Crossing ( so they can have an adventure of their own.