How do you get rid of books that you’ve been hoarding for years? And should you let go of novels you don’t read anymore? What about magazines? Or old textbooks collecting dust in the corner?
Well, what if we told you that there’s an easy way to recycle and downsize your book collection? If you’ve never heard of little free libraries, this one’s for you. Breaking your sentimental attachment to books doesn’t have to be a struggle.
How Do You Get Rid of Books?
Recently, with the pandemic, lots of us are going through closets and bookshelves. One of the bumps we’re discovered are books, and getting rid of book can be scary.
So, how do you get rid of books? It’s a question that’s near and dear to my heart because I’m an avid collector of books. When I moved to the house that I live in right now, I had over 10,000 books.
I Love Reading
I love reading. Between the time that I moved in and right now, Kindle Unlimited became a thing. For me, it costs about $10 per month, which is far less than I was paying for physical books. But I can carry electronic versions of the books on just my smartphone.
So, instead of housing lots of physical books, we can save money and space while still getting all the benefits of reading books. Also, with Kindle Unlimited, you can check out 10 books at a time, and then you give them back and get 10 more. And if you want to buy the books, they’re often only one to three dollars. It’s a low price for an otherwise expensive book.
The Expense of Books
Speaking of bargains, when I moved to my house, I had to have a special climate control room built for my books. And I want to talk about the expense of books for just a minute because it goes into why we need to get rid of books.
I live in North Carolina where the humidity is super high. There are lots of little animal creatures where we live. So, frogs and lizards and snakes and all kinds of things like to creep into my garage. Even if I were to keep boxes of books in my garage, the critters would ruin my books. So, I had to keep my books inside, which meant I had to make a special room just for my books.
Books Become a Burden
And so, the books that you have that are not on bookshelves, it becomes a burden to try to store as many books as I had. And they’re not just bound paper to me. The books are ideas and resources and whimsical, magical stories that are life changing.
And so, to get rid of those books, I don’t feel like I’m getting rid of bound paper. I feel like I’m getting rid of the resources and the ideas and the whimsical stories that change lives.
Bring Your Books Online
I know a lot of people that collect books feel the same way that I do. And so, I had to come to a term and a realization for myself that it was just in fact bound paper.
The books that I’ve become so fond of could be replaced with an electronic version. Then, I would have them on my smartphone in my pocket at all times. It made reading more accessible.
Read Anywhere with Electronic Books
For instance, if I’m at the doctor’s waiting office, I can sit there and I can be reading. If I’m the passenger in a car, I can be reading. And if I’m stuck in the line at the grocery store, I can still be reading. Instead of having those physical books with me, they’re now on my smartphone. So, to me, it was a great trade-off.
So, I was able to negate the emotional impact by turning my physical books into reading paper screens. But now what you do with the physical copy of the book?
Find Little Libraries
Another thing I want to let you know is that there are little free libraries. They’re outdoor libraries all over the United States. It’s super fun. They look like little bird houses, and there are people that make them in all cities.
You can find them in your area with a quick Google search. So, when you find one, you open the little door, and you add a few books or take a few books. There are also public libraries where you can donate your books.
Giving Books Away
I started asking companies that I work with if they had a library in their business. And lots of people do in the break rooms of their businesses. So, every time I would go to visit or every time I had a client appointment, I would bring a box of books.
And I just put a label on the front that said, “Donated by,” and then it would be “Angela Brown, Savvy Cleaner.” And then every time I showed up, people would say, “Hey, what books did you bring us today?” And I would bring 10, 20, 30 books every time I came because there are people that are looking to up level their lives.
People Loved the Books
Maybe you have self-help books, or you have fun books or books that will help them work smarter or faster. Either way, every time I would bring these books, everybody was like, “Hey, wow!”
They would go through it like it was Christmas and they would take a donated book. And then when they finished, they would swap and share with each other. My gym also has a bookshelf where you can sit and read. So, every time I would go to the gym, I would take a few more books.
The Stairway Book Box
For me, this system was having a box at the top of my stairway. Then, every time I went into my library, I would pick a bookshelf and ask “Which of these books will I never need? What am I willing to let go of?”
I started out with picking three or four. I’d usually end up getting nine or 10 or 12 books that I was okay to let go of. And so, I would put them in the box right there by the stairs. After that, every time I would leave the house, I’d take the box with me and get rid of the books. That way, I’d have an empty box for next time.
Now I also tried selling books on eBay. But it didn’t make a lot of sense for me because I actually lost more money in the packaging and shipping costs. Plus with worrying about the ratings and reviews, it was just a lot of work for a couple of dollars. So, it wasn’t worth it to me. But there are people that do online book sales for a living.
You can also put a box of books at the end of your driveway and post on nextdoor.com. Say “Hey, I have a book collection at the end of my driveway. If any of you want the books, they’re yours for the taking.” Within moments, people will come and just take the books and they will be gone.
Find Creative Ways to Get Rid of Your Books
So, my suggestion is find creative ways you can donate or sell your books. That way you can send them off without just creating a great big bonfire and burning them up.
But ultimately, you need to find a way to let go of them and free up space in your home. Get rid of all the books you aren’t going to read again. Or, if you are going to read them again, you can switch to doing it online. So, that is how I got rid of my books and maybe some ideas on how you can get rid of yours as well.
Support Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hoardingworld
Reclaim Your Life From Hoarding: Practical Strategies for Decluttering Your Home – https://amzn.to/35R1zIU
Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things – https://amzn.to/2SXEeme
Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding – https://amzn.to/364zyxT
Treatment for Hoarding Disorder: Therapist Guide – https://amzn.to/3jdbUqn
Treatment for Hoarding Disorder: Workbook – https://amzn.to/3wUQse7