Turning The Page: 7 Ways To Put Your Old Books To Good Use

As any avid reader knows, there comes a time when your bookshelf gets full. There are so many wonderful books out there, but unless you are a bit of a hoarder, you may wonder what to do with your books when you have finished reading them. It would be a shame to throw them away – books are there to be cherished – but if space is limited eventually something has to be done.

Ask yourself this question: Do you intend to read that book again? If the answer is no, then you may no longer need it in your home, unless you are keeping it for aesthetic or collectable reasons. If those don’t apply to you then it’s time for your book to begin the next chapter of its life and find a home elsewhere. Of course, whether you donate books or sell them, you do need to make sure they are in a respectable condition. Tattered books, with pages missing and coffee stained covers, should be recycled only. With that in mind, here are some ideas for putting your old books to good use

  1. Give you your local school

If you have any children’s books, your local school will be only too happy to take them off your hands, either for resale for school funds or to add to their current library.

  1. Donate to a charity shop

Many charity shops sell books for very low prices, perfect for anybody looking for a bargain. Just don’t be tempted to browse while you’re in there, or you may bring back more books than your bookshelf has room for.

  1. Consider an international charity

Charities such as Book Aid put books in the hands of people in impoverished countries around the world. You can change people’s lives for the better, improving literacy as well as increasing that country’s access to literature.

  1. Set up a ‘free books’ box

Put your old books in a box and leave it with a sign attached for any passersby. The most common place would be at the end of your driveway, but your workplace, local libraries, and community centres are also a good place to place your box – with permission, of course.

  1. Sell your books online

Amazon and eBay are the places most people think of when it comes to selling anything, but you could also try sites such as BookScouter as well. This is a great way to get a little cash back for your books, though you should make a note of shipping costs to ensure you aren’t incurring a loss.

  1. Sell to a used-book store

Used-book stores are often very willing to take old books off your hands, though you should do a price-check online. You may have a rare and valuable tome, for example, so you don’t want the seller ripping you off when he offers to take it off your hands. For regular books, however, though selling online will get you the better price, you may prefer this option for convenience sake. Don’t expect to get full value if you go with a used-book store.

  1. Have a book party

Get your friends and family together, and have a ‘swap and share’ session. Make this a regular event, and you will always be able to get rid of any books you have already read, while picking up a few new ones that you haven’t yet discovered.

This is a contributed post and may contain affiliate links. Read more about that here.

So, there you have it, seven ways to get rid of your old books!  What do you usually do with your used books?


  1. I love purging my books. I don’t always love the books, but I feel like it’s a waste to leave them laying around to collect dust. You know what they say, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.