Many people consider books as precious to them as their families and friends. To these people, thinking about how to get rid of old books is tantamount to discarding treasured people. However, books stored improperly over the years in a damp basement or an unheated attic tend to develop mold and mildew that contribute to a pervasive musty odor. Getting rid of musty smell can help alleviate health concerns. Even books that have been cared for properly take up valuable space in a home. Eventually, you’ll need to think about getting rid of used books and where to take old books.
You can get rid of used books online. Relatively new books and especially recently used textbooks can be sold on sites such as eBay and Amazon, a good solution to the question of how to get rid of old books in good condition. You can set your own prices, although most books should be sold at a price that reflects their used nature. If you don’t want to sell the books online, used bookstores frequently buy back books, sometimes on consignment or in a deal that lets you choose other titles from their selection. You can recycle old textbooks at college bookstores which generally offer buy-back programs at the close of a semester.
If your books aren’t too old, and are still in good shape, a library may be happy to take them. Many libraries hold fundraising sales on a regular basis. It’s important that the books be in good shape. They especially shouldn’t be musty or moldy, or have bugs in them. The mold or bug infestation can spread to other books stored with them. Think about whether you’d want to buy or even take home a free book in the same condition as the book you’re considering donating. If the answer is no, then don’t donate it.
You may want to share your love for a particular book, such as historical fiction or mysteries, with other aficionados. A book swap club, either one that you start yourself or an online site, might be a good choice for you. Some people enjoy leaving their books for strangers to find and enjoy. Online sites provide ways for you to track books you’ve “set free in the wild”, so to speak. You could also assemble a collection of free books to leave in a hospital waiting room, your workplace cafeteria or a self-serve laundry, for example. Finally, recycling old books may be your only solution because they have become too old and musty to share. Many recycling programs now will allow you to include paperbacks and hardbacks without the binding with your other recycling materials. Ultimately, how to get rid of old books is a problem that has a number of easy solutions.