Thoughtful Thursday: What do you do with books that you’ve read?

Hosted by Pamela @ Reading is Fun Again

This Thursday’s question:

What do you do with the books that you have read? Do you keep them? Donate them? Gift them? Return them to the library? Throw them away? Make them into arts & crafts projects? Has this changed during the years? Have you noticed a change in your perspective regarding read books?

I probably hold on to books longer than I should. There are very few that I’ll ever read again, but, you know, I *might.*

Back when I was in college, I generally engaged in a book sell-off at the end of every semester. These were mostly textbooks, but also some personal books. In December, it was usually because I needed extra money for Christmas and spring semester. In the spring, it was because I didn’t want to haul everything from my dorm to where I was spending the summer.  After nearly fifteen years in the same apartment, my books are fulfilling their Manifest Destiny: complete take-over of my living space.

Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.In 2006, in an effort to cull my collection and gain more books that I wanted, I joined PaperBackSwap. According to my profile I’ve sent 147 books and received 106. Wow. That’s…more than I expected. Unfortunately, PBS doesn’t accept ARCs and I’ve started to acquire a few of those. My plan is to volunteer them for Dewey’s Readathon, and if they’re not chosen as prizes, I’ll take them to my local used bookstore/charity store.

That only leaves some of the used mass-market paperbacks that are in really poor shape. I’m gentle with my books, but in many cases, I might be the third or fourth owner. They’re not in good enough shape to give away (certainly not through PBS), but I feel weird about throwing out books or using them in a crafty way.

[Edit: I didn’t even mention that my default for read books is keeping them!]

5 thoughts on “Thoughtful Thursday: What do you do with books that you’ve read?

  1. joyweesemoll

    We have a huge and very popular book fair in St. Louis, so they get most of my books. I don’t even mind giving them the worn ones. On the last day of the fair, they sell books by the unseen bag-full. I assume the people that buy those are crafters or willing to read absolutely anything.

    1. Katherine Nabity Post author

      I have to give my husband credit for that. I was looking for a concept meaning “to expand to fill the given container,” thinking he might know of some tech term, and he came up with Manifest Destiny.

  2. whatsheread

    I’ve started bringing my ARCs and read books that I know I don’t want to keep to work and have created a lending library there. People love it, and it is fun to see which books appear and disappear over the months. Barring that, I donate a lot to the library and the rest are given away to friends and family or to Goodwill. Of course, I own more unread books than I will ever possibly be able to give away or even read!


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