A Pile Of Books

My father died recently and left me his books.

He was a big reader and passionate about space opera. His house had piles of books, boxes of books, shelves broken under the weight of books. He preferred hard cover to paperback, aliens over alternate history.

He was a bit of a horder. My brother and I kept finding new book deposits throughout the house. Books on the delta blues. Books on Native craft and art work. Special orders about the legend of the Wandering Jew (look that up for a fascinating story).

My brother only wanted the complete collection of Carlos Castaneda and told me to take the rest, so now I have around 350 new books in my basement.

Now, space opera is not my thing. I’ve taken out the 50 or so that I want to read or keep bi that still leaves me with about 300. 300 new used books that I will most likely not read.

What do you do with your old books?
Have you ever tried to get rid of a massive piles of books at one time?

About jonahknight

Jonah writes, records, and performs songs about ghosts, monsters, steampunk, and creepy Christmas tunes. Is that geek music? Nerd music? Filk? Who knows. Find more at www.jonahofthesea.com He also co-hosts (with Mikey Mason) the Pros and Cons podcast. A Parsec Finalist, the show is about geek music and convention culture. http://prosandconspodcast.blogspot.com/

5 thoughts on “A Pile Of Books

  1. You can donate to a library – which is the quickest. You can also donate to BetterWorldBooks. I also enjoy PaperBackSwap. You can trade your books (paper or hardback) for other books, audiobooks, CDs, or DVDs. Good luck.

  2. How about a box or two to be auctioned off at the charity auctions at the cons? “One lot of space opera, starting bid, $1”

    Better World Books or Goodwill. Goodwill actually sorts their books and will ship them to where they’re likely to sell best or sell them online.

    At Better World Books you can print off a pre-paid shipping label to get boxes to them.

  3. My aunt just died and she too had quite a collection of books. She really liked mysteries, we found a set of Hardy Boys books. We also found old school primers from 1925. The local library took them all, 20+ boxes, except for the few that my cousin, brother and I packed away. They even came and picked up the first load. A very helpful lady at the library said she was with the local museum as well and would like to put some of the older books on display with a plaque in our Aunt’s name, “If we didn’t mind?” It may be because it was a small town, but I heartily suggest the library.

  4. Other options for donation might be the local battered women’s shelter, or soup kitchens, or inner city or rural schools, or orphanages, or homeless shelters, or nursing homes, etc, if there are any such around you. Teachers in under-funded school districts often spend their own money on books and other teaching materials. Books could be especially helpful in special reading programs, either at schools or through the literacy council. You also might want to consider church programs that provide services for indigent or shut-in older people. It may take a while, but I bet you can find homes for them all.

    Or, if they’re in pretty good shape, you could sell them through eBay’s Half.com book sales program. Amazon.com also buys and re-sells used books.

    Best of luck!

  5. I’m not going to lie, I’ve done my fair share of book hoarding, but I think I’ve been cured. This is thanks to moving five times since 2004 (one of which is overseas). Every time I moved, I looked at my bookshelf and quietly went thought “Again?!?”. Slowly I would get rid of books, but I would hold on to the stories that I loved, and thought I would read again. Then I’d move again and those books were untouched. Finally, I just got rid of them.

    Here’s what I did: One of the local bookstores where I was living would buy used books. I know it’s not quite as good-willed as donating to charity, but I would take my boxes of books into the store and let them pick and choose the ones that they might want. They didn’t want to them all obviously, but they would also donate the books to the friends of the library group that would then try to sell them at their bi-yearly book sales. So, I suggest seeing if you can get a bit of cash for some of them, then donating the rest.

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