Absolutely Nobody Wants This Book

Comments (18)
  1. prying1 says:

    I read on some bulletin board about leaving books at bus stops (or on buses during inclement weather) but if you do this the business card will get you a “I found your book” call. – although you could print up a card saying, “This book is yours to keep or give to a friend. Visit Yadedah.com”

    I think leaving books around for people to pick up is a good idea but I’d suggest that it not be a tome on clinical heart disease or agriculture stats of 1950’s Nebraska.

    Good posting. One of these days I will have to start sorting more than I have done up to now. Problem is I love books and hate to see them get shredded. – At least the purse, wallet & birdhouse ideas sort of gives them a bit longer to live…

  2. Nora says:

    I’ve seen some train/bus stations (including our local one) have an actual rack that has a sign saying “please take some, compliments of X”. Usually it’s the local library, but if the terminal is willing and you’re willing to shell out for a rack, it may be the best advertising you ever bought!

    I’ve given stuff to the rummage sale for local animal welfare place several times and what I’ll do is print little stamp sized paperbits with the name and address and stick them in the middle of the book before they leave. We’ve seen some come back over the years, but it’s usually more than a year before we see them again!

    And here’s another use of pages. The art used magazines in this case, which I know people are always trying to foist on me.

  3. Josie B says:

    Sorry but I am of the opinion that there comes a time to THROW in the trash those old obsolete books. It’s like clothing…they’ve been used and abused…send them to never never land.

    I have been reading and watching here for the last 2 weeks, trying to decide which way to go on those dead spots in the store. My son came in yesterday and went through about 5 sections, discarding, discarding!!! He moved some to different places and re-arranged the rest. I bet I’ll have people in that think I have different stock!!!

    Anyway, I do think there comes a time to pitch. There are so many old books, non-fiction, that are so outdated there is no hope. I will concentrate on other things and see how the cleaning out and reshevling works for me. Has anyone else got the itch to discard??

  4. Nora says:

    I will freely admit to some mangy books being put to good use every year keeping me warm.

    I have a woodstove. There’s frequently a mangy diet book next to the box of matches. Aren’t much good for serious heat, but they work nicely as tinder.

  5. letile says:

    Another good alternative is Bookcrossing.com- an organized attempt to turn the world into a public library…

  6. Rachel says:

    I leave stacks of books in our local laundromat all the time and they are always gone when I come back with fresh supplies. A good outlet for my overgrowth of parenting books and romance paperbacks.

    -Rachel, Old Saratoga Books

  7. Tim E. says:

    Interesting…. I see a new desk in my future!

  8. I remember seeing rather a nice project which involved drilling a hole through the middle of perhaps 10 or 15 books, then gluing them so that the holes are lined up. (You’ll want to offset them slightly so that it looks like a random pile, not too neat and organised.) This, together with a lamp making kit, can be turned into rather an attractive table lamp.

    Now, I am perhaps the least crafty person in the world, so I can’t claim to have ever made one of these myself. But I did think it was rather a nice idea,

  9. Simon Strong says:

    If you enjoy destroying books so much, why not do it properly and just pile them all up and set fire to them in a national socialist style? What do you do with your old flags? make em into dishrags? I thought this might be a bibliophile friendly site…

  10. Simon Strong says:

    apologies for that comment. – came out a bit stronger than I wanted…

  11. Bruce K. Hollingdrake says:

    Simon, Thanks for the comment but you’re not seeing things through the eyes of a dealer. Most of us that have open shops receive thousands of books every month (even every week at times). Many of these books need to find a new home but there are hundreds of books that were printed many thousands of times over often in many editions. If these books weren’t properly disposed of we would be so overrun with trash that we could not run our businesses. This post is a fun way to look at these books, offering alternate ways of dealing with the tons of paper we need to discard.

  12. prying1 says:

    Hi Simon – It did come off a bit strong and thanks for the apology.

    I was always one who hated the idea of destroying books but for some books there comes a time. Especially for those book stores that depend on moving books out the door through sales and getting new stock to fill the empty spaces. Without the turnover they would be spending rent money just to give the books a home. – Booksellers can’t afford to be married to their stock. – If a book will never sell they might as well have a priest come in and officiate a ceremony that makes the union legal.

    Notice that not all the suggestions were destructive. Many ideas were for spreading the unwanted books around the neighborhood with a little advertising thrown in.

    I like the lamp idea and have a few old medical school books (so outdated the material in ’em might be dangerous) that would work and perhaps would be ideal for a doctor’s office. – Maybe one of these days…

  13. JD says:

    Bookmooch.com is a great place to list books you don’t want. You get a point for each book given which can be used to get another book. Another great way to keep books out of the landfill . . .

  14. Nora says:

    I’ve also started using PaperbackSwap (http://www.paperbackswap.com ) which, despite name, does handle hardcovers and audiobooks. Ship a book, get a credit you can use to get a different book. Membership is free!

    There’s also a program on there called “Box of Books” where you can swap multiple books with other people, no credits required. So you can swap off all that spare Danielle Steel for something you actually NEED.

  15. I have to agree that there are some books that are not going to be saleable for whatever reason, too damaged ,too dated, too dull. I know a local distributor who sends books to landfill, these are books that I wouldn’t take for free even though they are brand new. The charity shops didn’t want them either. If they are never going to sell why waste money paying for storage?
    No matter how much we booksellers love books the truth is with second hand books supply and demand are out of balance. If no-one wants it off my $1 trolley the charity shop won’t want it either.
    If we were completely ruthless we would be destroying a lot more. I used to give away hundreds of books but the people who took the free ones never made it inside to buy a book. The charity shops never give books away so why did I?
    Now I put the unsaleable into the paper recycle.

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