Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Decluttering Books

If you're a bibliophile like me, then you know books can easily take over a room, if not a whole house. While I love to have lots of books to browse through and choose from when I want something to read, I also like to go through them periodically and get rid of the books I know I won't read again. This is especially true for children's books, which, at my house, seem to multiply faster than bunny rabbits in the springtime! I really do try to keep books contained to the bookcases, though they do spill over here and there.

Sometimes I go on a book-purging binge and get rid of boxes of books at one time. But, usually I do it little by little and weed out a bit when other opportunities to get rid of clutter present themselves, like a garage sale.

This is what I do throughout the year to get rid of book clutter:

Donate books to a public library. We are lucky here because we have a public library that happily accepts used book donations for their biannual used-book sale. I've gotten rid of boxes of books knowing that they were most likely going to find their way to other readers and support a good cause.

Sell or give away books at a garage sale. I prefer to give books away at garage sales, but my main goal for having a garage sale is to declutter, not to make a ton of money. In my experience, I don't think books sell well at garage sales, but people always take them if they're free.

Sell used books on Amazon. I haven't done this in awhile, because, honestly, the last time I did it, I thought it was a pain in the butt. It was a lot of effort for very little profit. I just want to declutter, I don't want to sit at the computer tediously entering books for sale.

Trade books on Paperback Swap. If you haven't checked out this on-line book-trading site, you should! It's really a lot of fun and almost as easy as checking books out of the library. You enter books that you want to get rid of using the book's ISBN number. They already have all the book's data in the site, so it just takes a minute. Once your book is listed as available, others can request it. You mail it, paying the postage yourself, which you can do directly through the site. Then, you get to choose books from their extensive list. When you request a book, it's sent free of charge. So, you pay postage only when you mail a book and nothing when you recieve a book. It all evens out. I've found this to be a great way to get copies of books that I want to keep long-term, as well as to declutter.

Speaking of books, I've finally finished up my writing projects and am going to start reading Breaking Dawn. I promised my son we could make peanut butter cookies today, so as soon as those are in the oven, I'm going to dive in! Can't wait!

How about you? Have you read any good books lately?


  1. Neat ideas, you can also check with Daycares, Schools, Nursing Homes and Churches. Any of those organizations might take the books to use or if they do an annual sale they will put them in that.

  2. I love as well as Bookcrossing is simply setting your book free into the wild with a note and Book ID (that you get when you register it) and wait to see where in the world it ends up when someone finds it. Not all the time does someone make an entry, but when they do, it's a great feeling to read the excitement that they had for just finding a book someplace unexpected. I have a bunch of books I need to move...right now, they are in a box in the basement waiting for someone to order them from paperbackswap.

  3. Good for you for making this decluttering a priority. It makes room for something new.

  4. Thanks for the comments! I've heard of Bookcrossing, but never checked it out. It sounds like it's a lot of fun!