Promote reading in your community, reduce clutter around your home and your contribution of waste to the landfill, save a buck and benefit a charity while you are at it. Just how are you supposed to do all this? Well, it is actually quite simple. Go through your closets and bookshelves and look for all the used books and magazines that you no longer read.
Families that have moved repeatedly know the curse of hoarding is best avoided if at all possible. Moving literally hundreds of pounds of them certainly prompted us to systematically read our books once each and then decide whether it was a “keeper” or not.
Management of used books and magazines is a very environmental and community conscious thing for people to participate in. Extending the life of books and magazines is easily accomplished by taping the binding and edges of the covers. This repairs any damages, prevents wear and tear, and increases the value because it is nicer looking.
There are many options for you to consider for used books and magazines:
§ Donating to any library is a good idea. Even well read publications are appreciated. If they do not make it to the library bookshelf, they will be sold in their annual fundraising book sale. There are many kinds of libraries to consider aside from public ones - including church libraries, retirement home libraries, coffee shops and mobile libraries.
§ Consider participating in Book Crossing - a charming way to encourage reading and create a
connection with the community. This program requests that people register their used book, place an informative label on it and leave it at a common destination place (i.e. bus stop). Individuals that pick up the book visit the website and describe where they found it and where they decided to leave it for the next person to read. It can be quite interesting to see how far the book travels!
§ Operation Paperback accepts donated reading material for the military.
- Trading in at the used bookstore is one of our favorite past-times. It feels good to support a local store that focuses on 'reuse'. The trouble is our shelf is filled once again when we return with bundles of 'new' books to read!
§ Get involved in exchange loops with friends, family or co-workers. By doing this, we have found ourselves exposed to all sorts of subjects and writing styles that we may not have picked up ourselves.
§ Using the Key Words “Book Swap” in a search engine reveals many places online where one can trade used books, including:
§ Leave a box of books near your door for guests to riffle through and have their pick. This way you don’t have to remember to trot out the box when people are visiting.
§ Donate to any fund raising event held by schools, churches or non-profit groups.
§ Sell, or give away in a garage sale. We always offer free stuff when we have a garage sale. One day we set out a box of magazines, thinking we would be lucky to see half of them off. One of the first bargain hunters happily scooped up the entire box. She couldn’t believe her luck.
§ Many waiting rooms (doctor, lawyer, accountant and banking offices) and staff lunchrooms accept donated reading materials.
§ Consider hospitals - their patients have to do something healthier than staring at a TV.
§ A Local Literacy program.
§ Coffee shops are another great place to try.
§ Shelters for the poor or disadvantaged, Women's shelters and missions are other places to consider for your donations. There are a number of less-privileged areas (i.e. Africa) that are hungry for our used school and university books in particular. In keeping with this topic, using the key words ‘book donation’ in a search engine turns up pages of places to donate to. Here are a few of the sites:
- www.ala.org – lists contact information for organizations that distribute used books.
- www.nationalbook.org/bookdonations.html – lists places that accept book donations
~ Lillian Brummet: Award winning author, book marketing guru, owner of the award winning Brummet’s Conscious Blog, and both the host and executive producer of the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio show. (www.brummet.ca)