GOING GREEN – Green ways to dispose of unwanted books

Margaret-MalsamWhat are some green ways to dispose of those dusty books sitting on a shelf or in boxes in your garage?  If you find books feel too much like family, maybe you should give them to interested family members. However, if you really enjoy reading books, you might want to join a book swap club like paperbackswap.com, sell them online, or donate them to a recognized charity for a tax credit.

Swap books
A good book to me is a like a pet. I want books and pets to have good homes. After reading paperbacks or hardcover books, I often give them to friends. Or I can post them on my paperbackswap bookshelf and get a trade credit when someone requests one. Then I list books that I want in trade on my club’s Wish List.  I have traded more than $300 worth of books in the last few years with membership in this club. I pay the postage when I mail a book to a club member, but club members pay the postage on books I receive.

Another way to clear off your bookshelves and get different books to read is visiting a recreation or senior center where you can trade books on the honor system at no charge

Sell books
If you have collected many books or inherited some lately and they are in excellent condition, you might want to sell them. There are multiple online sites that buy used books. Rather than try to find all of the individual companies that purchase used books I suggest you go to BookScouter.com. This is a one-stop shop that searches many different online book buyers with one click. You’ll quickly discover which book dealer, if any, is interested in buying the books you have.

booksBookScouter helps you sell your books for the most money by comparing offers from more than 50 buyback vendors with a single search. This allows you to quickly and easily find who is paying the most for your books. BookScouter is 100 percent free to use with no registration required. Most buyers make it easy to send the books by paying for shipping and allowing you to simply print a prepaid mailing label. Once your books are received and inspected for damage by the vendor, you’ll be sent your payment. It’s that easy!

Several years ago, I set up an account with Amazon.com, which charges a commission but only when books sell. I have sold countless books this way. Unlike eBay, Amazon collects the money for me before they send me the notice of where to ship the book.  Twice a month they transfer the money into my bank account. It’s a no hassle way to sell books. My listings do not expire unless I cancel them.


Donate books
If you choose to donate your books, the IRS will allow you to take a fair-market tax deduction when you donate the books to a recognized charitable organization, like the Salvation Army or Goodwill. If you go that route make sure you get a receipt with spaces to properly value your donations. You don’t want to get audited only to discover that the values you assigned to your donated items are not anything close to what the IRS estimates as the value of your books.

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