Friday, January 27, 2012

What Do I Do With All These Books? A Bookseller's Answer

What can I do to have fewer books? Short of building a room addition with library shelves, which most of us find a little over the top in book collecting (apologies to those who actually did this) there are ways to hone down the number of books you own. (And I DON'T mean for you to buy an e-reader.)

For your convenience, Warwick's is happy to donate your books for you. We work with several organizations who very much appreciate to received donated books. You can also take your books to places like convalescent homes or shelters.
Your local library is always eager to have books donated, if not for their collection, then for resale. But they have some criteria, especially that it not be mildewed/odoriferous in any way; there are no ripped or written on pages; and that it's no older than three years. I have donated a dozen books to my library in the last year. Nice to know it will get more mileage than just my enjoyment.

If you have any autographed books, best to check on e-bay if anyone is looking for that title and you can make a little money back on your investment. (The library folks do this with any donation that has resale promise.)

You just finished a book that you liked but don't want to keep, leave it on a park bench, on a cafe table, or any other venue. Most coffee houses have a place for people to read the day's papers, and sliding a paperback amongst that might make someone very happy (especially if you leave a dollar as a bookmark.)

Not for profit organizations help build libraries, and you can do a web search to see what groups are available that want donated books. In most cases they'd rather have the cash to buy books and build libraries for that community.

There are other ways to get more mileage out of your book. We have a customer who buys seven books, one for each of the parents and the grown children. They each pick one and when finished give it to another family member. Price per page really goes down when you've had so many readers.

I'm curious about any other solutions, so email me a,

Happy reading!

Jim Stewart is a bookseller at Warwick's


  1. Thanks for this, I seriously downsized this year (from 3bd house to small studio) and it is hard to part with a lifetime of books.

    Was thinking about donating some here:

    I've also heard about this site -- it sounds fun. You leave a book on a bench, etc., and leave an online clue so someone can pick it up (or you can find a new one of your own this way):

    Anyone have experience with either of these?

  2. At you can list books that you are willing to send off, and in return somebody will send you one you want. The only problem is that current books are very limited in supply.