What's the best way to trim down your book collection?

I am getting to the stage where the shelves can’t take anymore, and there is no more space for extra shelving. Luckily over the years my tases have changed and some of my collection is now comprised of books that I do not intend to read again.

I absolutely refuse to just throw books away, but Am unsure how best to proceed

  1. Ebay

Is there a sufficient market for Fantasy books on ebay to make it worth my while auctioning them? Has anyone had any luck in this area

  1. Second hand book shop

If i just box everything up and head down to my local 2nd hand book shop, would they be at all interested in making an offer, I realise this will vary shop by shop, but is it even worth trying?

  1. Charity Shop

Would a Charity shop be interested in 100 or so second hand fantasy genre books?

  1. Library

Would a library be at all interested (at least in the good condition ones)?

The thing is books are just things. Letting books pile up is just as much clutter as stockpiling collectable Elvis figurines.

I give my excess to the local expat library, or let the parrot eat them. Sometimes he decides which books are excess.

If your goal is simply to clear clutter and you don’t care what you get for them, I have always had good luck boxing up books and taking them to the local second-hand shop. I don’t go in expecting much for them and am generally pleasantly surprised at the amount I am offered for them. I have had some luck selling comic books on eBay several years ago, but in lots or series. I can’t imagine trying to deal with 100 different auctions. If you feel like doing some research you could try to figure out if anything you have has any significant value and auction those specific books or series and take the rest to the used bookstore.

I give all my used books to the library. They hold an annual sale where they sell off excess books to raise funds, so one way or another it benefits them.

Before you go to the trouble of taking your books to a second hand shop, call ahead. Some only buy on certain days, some have no interest at all in mass market paperbacks.

I worked as a public librarian for a while. We got a lot of book donations, almost every day. Some books went to the County Store, but most went straight to the dumpster.

I’m a librarian too and the only stuff that goes to the dumpster is the stuff too mildewed and smelly and broken to sell.

The library would love the donation, especially old science fiction/fantasy, people always want that stuff but no one donates it.

My wife goes to the local library a lot with my little girl. I shall have to get her to ask fi they are interested. I would be more than happy to send the books that way if they want them.

Have you tried fire?

Much as I hate to be a sequential threads dork, it amuses me that at the moment I see this in the thread listing:

[ul][li]What’s the best way to trim down your book collection? [/li]Don’t you just hate it when your book falls in the toilet?[/ul]


Try a used bookstore. In my area they give credits for books turned in that you can use for purchasing volumes you may want.

“Comic Books?” We talking “books aka graphic novels” or the magazines you put in plastic bags?
I was rather sad to find that my comics, neat and hard-to-find as they are, are nearly worthless. There just isn’t a buyer base for them. :frowning: The books could be worth a bit in trade at a used bookstore. Check with your library before you donate them there, to see if this is something they’re interested in handling.
Generally, just give them away to interested parties. I gave a couple boxes to the niephews. And even this is problematic; if your tastes are anything near as specialized as mine, the only people who want them are connoisseurs and already have them. If they’re not too controversial (political or pornographic or otherwise freaky), you might ask at a local place that does Adult Literacy.

ETA: Almost forgot: Mile High Comics seems to be a clearinghouse of sorts, but they’re based in the US.

This is the easiest way to go if you don’t care about getting anything in return for your books.

It was on the SDMB that I learned about Paperbackswap.com, but if your goal is to free up shelf space, that may not be the best idea. :slight_smile:

Neither, I’m talking about actual novels. The graphic novels I have, I still read from time to time, so I’m keeping those.

I worked in a second hand bookstore for awhile, and I strongly second this. Second hand stores are only interested in books they can resell, and every store has its own idea what this means. They’ll let you know what they’re looking for, and if your collection is huge may even send someone over to your place. It would be a shame if you have to lug all those boxes back home.

My current plan is to winnow through my collection to identify which books are on the cut pile. I will then probably create a spreadsheet of the relevant books, do a ebay search to make sure I don’t have any hidden gems and then talk to the library/second hand book shop to see who wants what. There goes my weekend…

I have had terrific luck with reselling on amazon.com. Like you, I am mostly interested in freeing up shelf space versus maximizing my returns. So, I “price to move.” If the lowest copy of my book is selling for $2.00, I set my book at $1.45 or so. I’ve literally sold hundreds of books and made hundreds of dollars (paid thousands, but made hundreds).

It’s worth looking into.

What I usually do with all of my used books is donate them to the local PTA thrift shop. The drop-off procedure is slightly different for the various district PTAs in my area (some will let you just anonymously drop the stuff off while others will want to check it in), but generally, I think they will accept something if it’s in good condition and doesn’t have the covers missing or massive highlighting inside or whatnot.

You could probably do the same if you have a Goodwill shop in your area, although I like the idea of directly supporting my local school district slightly more. Still, both are worthy causes.

This is a serious question, why can’t you just throw them away?