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"6 (Now 9) Ideas for Your Used Books" was edited by
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6 (now 9) Ideas for Your Used Books
Created By: Ceci

Personally I have a few books that I could NEVER part with... but looking at them I can't help but wonder,  "I loved this book, but when the heck am I ever going to have time to RE-read it? Especially with all these other books in my wish list."

I think I could probably (and should probably) part with a few of these books that are starting to stack up. So what do you do with all these used books?

Our BB clubies came up with 6 ideas for your used books.


1. Gift it!

Who doesn't like a gift? After reading a book and thinking, "Wow, I think Karen would get a kick out of this book." Send it to her as a gift! What a great (and inexpensive) way to let someone know you are thinking of them.  A special note with the book or even inside the cover can mean a lot to someone.

On average it costs about $5 to send a book through the post office in a padded envelope. Just think, for $25, you could let 5 fabulous friends know how much you love them, AND make a little more room on your bookshelf.

You could even do random acts of kindness on BB. If you are checking out a clubie's book shelf and notice a book on their bookshelf. Why not send them a message and offer to send it to them? Random acts of kindness have such a great ripple effect for both the actor and and actie. Enjoy the ripple you create!


2. Book Club Book Exchange

Do a book exchange night at your book club. This especially works well if you are a new club and have a history of reading different things. Bring any book you are ready to part with and swap away! You may want to put your initials in the inside front cover so things don't get mixed up in all the excitement.


3. Organize a Group Book Sale

Just like a community garage sale, just with a twist - it's all books! Its a great way to promote literacy in your community with affordable books. It can also get you a little extra spending money in the process. OR you could donate any funds raised to your local literacy program. To find a literacy program in your area, go to

If you decide to have a sale, we suggest having set prices. It tends to help with book coordination and advertising. For instance, "All paperbacks $1 (or $2), hardcovers $5 (or $7)." What a bargain. I'd be sure to go to that sale! 

A word about tracking: Be sure to set up a tracking system of what book belongs to whom. Stickers can fall off, and if you have a lot of people donating you may run out of colors. We suggest a number system with a separate number for each donator. Write each donator's number on the inside front cover of their books. When people go to check out, you can keep a tally of who has sold what. It makes divvying up the proceeds at the end a snap! (A secondary number could also be added by the seller if they want to do some additional tracking and to make sure none of their books wander off.)

If you decide to organize a group book sale, please let us know. We would love to be able to help you promote it.


4. Sell them

You can sell it one by one on your own at a site like (Ebay) 

Or, have someone do the individual sales for you, and send a bulk of your books to sites like Powell Bookstore or Cash for Books. They will buy them from you and pay the shipping.

Or, you can even make a home based business out of selling your used books online.

 Check out:  

Selling Used Books Online: The Complete Guide to Bookselling at Amazon's Marketplace and Other Online Sites (Harvard Perspectives in Entrepreneurship)


5. Donate them!

Just make sure the books are still in good condition. Donating your books is often tax deductible, so be sure to ask for a receipt. Most places don't accept old magazines and Encyclopedias, so please make sure to check info your local recycling efforts to dispose of them properly.

A couple of places to donate that are near and dear to our BB hearts include:

Open Books in Chicago -

Open Books is: a nonprofit social venture that operates an extraordinary bookstore, provides community programs, and mobilizes passionate volunteers to promote literacy in Chicago and beyond.

Open Books has a MISSION: to enrich lives through reading, writing, and the power of used books. For examples of the kinds of power used books possess, check the left sidebar.


BookEnds -

BookEnds, a nonprofit organization based in Southern California, is about Kids Helping Kids. BookEnds' recycles children's books through student-run book drives and places them in schools and youth organizations in need of books.

BookEnds believes that a literate child is the foundation of a thriving community. By providing access to books, BookEnds gives children the resources to develop literacy skills and to experience the joy and imagination of reading.

BookEnds' diverse recipients include inner-city schools, youth centers, homeless shelters, family literacy centers, after-school enrichments programs, children's group homes and juvenile detention facilities.


Your Local Library -

A online organization that helps local libraries reach a wider audience. "You get a tax deduction and the library can re-sell the books to raise money for their library." 


Looking for a better fit for your books? You can find a pretty extensive list of other places you can donate your used books to at


Or you can always... 
6. Treasure them forever and never let them go

Massive book shelves filled with book are always great decoration for any house. It also makes quite the statement.

7. Swap it online

A few of our clubies have suggested swapping them online at: or

 8. Create an Office Used Book Store

"My office has a small area where used books are placed for sale. A box
is out to collect money and everyone donates old books to sell. The
money goes to fund office activities like helping pay to have the
office Thanksgiving dinner catered." - hkhagan

9. Create an Lobby Library Exchange

"My mechanic was telling me that they used to have a "book borrowing library" in their lobby. Where people could contribute, or borrow! What a fun thing to do in any business that has a waiting room." - Unscribbler

If you have some ideas you would like to share, please go to our discussion forum in our Clubhouse.

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Interviews & Articles on BB:

Featured Clubie:


What is your favorite thing about a book? Immersing myself in the moment....

What is your "love to re-read" book? or What is your most dog-eared book? ... hmmm.... I would have to say Louise Hays You Can Heal Your Life.... its a great book... and probably one of my all time favorites that I go back to again and again to provoke thought and renew my inspiration.

What are you reading now?.. Still trying to get through "Under the Tuscan Sun"..... it's gotten kinda dull for the moment.... plus I'm always reading several books at the same time... so another one is always on my nightstand - "Laws of Attraction" which I'm trying to get through. I go in spurts when I read... lots then little.. right now its little..

If you wrote one book what would the plot be? That's a good question... I've always got things in my head about writing, though I have been told I should write the story of my life... since I've done so many different things....and I always have an entertaining story behind the several bizarre events.... Always making light of each situation... It would be a satiracal comedy... that's for sure!

For more about Chance, please go check out her Clubie Page...