Books like many items, simply rot away on our shelves and become clutter if we don't use them. Left unused for long periods of time, well, you know what happens to many of them. They collect a ridiculous amount of dust, turn yellow, and start to fall apart! Unused books create stagnant or stuck energy in your home. And they start to smell bad, too!
Is this the life you intended for the book when you bought it? Wouldn't it be great to share what you got out of the book with others? Why are you hanging on to them when they could be having a useful life and continue to be of value to people?
Okay, so if I can't appeal to your philanthropic nature, let me try the money angle. : ) If you donate your books - and itemize deductions, you can deduct them from your income taxes! Check out It's Deductible software. They allow you anywhere for 2 - 30$ per book depending on the type. You can also donate your Books on CD and Books on Tape!
Where to Give Your Books Away
I did some digging around...and here are 11 neat ideas for sharing the books you love, before they become just clutter in your home.
- Your Local Library - Unfortunately, many libraries don't take book donations anymore! But some do so it is worth finding out if there a library near you that will take your books, even if your city or town does not. Note: They will usually take Books on CD and Books on Tape, Videos, DVDs, and Music CDs and Tapes too! What a great way to give your media life...and you can still check them out yourself if you want!
- JustGIVE.org - This site provides a great list of places to donate just about anything! Whether you want to donate Books, Furniture, Household Good and Clothing, Computers, Cars, Cell Phones, Pet Supplies, Eyeglasses, your Hair, or even your Organs, you can find a resource here.
- Friends of Libraries, USA - This group is currently accepting donations to rebuild libraries affected by hurricanes and more. You can ship books to them. Address: 1420 Walnut St, Suite 450 Philadelphia, PA 19102-4017 Call: 215-790-1674 or 1-800-9FOLUSA http://www.folusa.org/
- Vietnam Veteran's Association - They have both pick up service and drop off service. There is a limit on the number of books you can donate at one time.(2 bags or 2 boxes in my area). Not all areas have pick up service. They will also allow you to set up a monthly pick up. This is a great way to keep the volume of stuff in your home under control. Simply set up a donation area in your home and fill up the yellow bag they give you every month.
- Freecyle.org - Here you can list your ads for free and give your books or anything else away!
- BookCrossing.com - The practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise. You can register your book and track its travels here!
- Housing Works in NYC - 126 Crosby Street, NYC 10012 (212-334-3324) You can drop off or ship books to them. They work to end homelessness and AIDS in NYC. http://www.housingworks.org/usedbookcafe/donate.html
- Craigslist.org - Here you can list your ads for free and give your books or anything else away!
- Bridge to Asia's Textbook and Journal Donation Program - Not sure who would want your old textbooks and professional journals? This group seeks college, graduate and professional level teaching and research materials in English. They collect books, journals and other forms of information, both used and new. bridge.org
- PaperbackSwap.com - Here you can mail your books in (usually costs $1.59 per book)and get credits. Then you can use your credits to get books you want.
- BooksThroughBars.org - What better way to rehabilitate someone than through education and reading? This program provides books to prisoners. Before sending books, make sure you check the rules on what types of reading material each prison allows.
Noteable Book Related Charity
FIRSTBOOK.org - They don't take books, but you can donate to help kids in need get their "first books."
So if you really love your books, and don't want them to just become clutter, get them organized and pass them on to a place where they will be loved and useful once again!