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Where Can I Get Rid of Unwanted Books?

Abby Slutsky is in the process of decluttering and cleaning her home. Finding uses or new places for unwanted items can be a challenge.

Although I am not sure if the younger generation will have a house full of books, students and many other people enjoy turning the pages of an actual book. Thus, for many people, when it is time to downsize or empty their homes of unwanted items, they may find that they have boxes of books they no longer need or want. If you are purging your home of unwanted books, you may be wondering what you can do with them.

Put the books in boxes or bags that are manageable to carry. Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Put the books in boxes or bags that are manageable to carry. Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Donating Books

Take a tax donation for used books, and let others enjoy the tales that you are finished reading. Here are some places that accept book donations.

1. Schools or Houses of Worship

Depending on the type of books, some schools or preschools may be happy to receive book donations. You can also call your local house of worship to see if they are interested in book donations.

2. Libraries

Libraries vary as to when and if they accept book donations. Nevertheless, it is worth a call to your local library as many of them will welcome a fresh stash of gently used books. Some librairies also run book sales and may use your donation to help raise library funds.

3. Goodwill

Many non-profit organizations, such as the Salvation Army, are happy to accept books. If you are donating books to them, make sure that you follow their required guidelines. Unlike libraries and schools, some goodwill organizations will pick up books from your home, so you do not have to carry heavy boxes of them. They usually require the books to be in boxes or bags that a single person can lift.

A popular series may sell on an online marketplace.

A popular series may sell on an online marketplace.

Getting Cash For Used Books

Do not get too excited about getting money for your books because it may not happen. Yes, some online places take them, but most require you to have a minimum dollar amount before they will buy the books. This means you must scan your books or put the IBSN number into their website to find out if they will buy the book and how much they will pay for it. You may be scanning a lot of books only to find that the site is not purchasing the majority of books you want to sell.

Reasons There May Not Be a Market For Some Books

  • The book may have been revised or reprinted.
  • Many people prefer online reading instead of actual books.
  • The purchaser may already have too many copies of that title.

Tips for Selling Used Book

1. Once you are done reading the book, try to sell it immediately. Old books are more difficult to sell because once they are reprinted, the new version is likely to be more popular. Even textbooks are revised, so sell them quickly too.

2. Use to find places that will buy your books and provide the most competitive prices for them. Put in your ISBN, and it will let you know what sites are buying and the price they are willing to pay. Bookscouter will give you a comprehensive list of many websites that buy books.

Places That Buy Used Books

1. Online Marketplaces

Personally, I have found local online marketplaces the best way to sell books, especially best sellers or children’s books. It is best to sell the books in groups. Try to sell books of the same series together or books that appeal to a particular age group together. Teaching websites can also be a good place to sell children’s books, especially right before the start of the school year. Many people have success on Amazon, but you will have to charge or absorb shipping costs whereas you may be able to schedule pickup with a purchaser on a local marketplace.

2. Universities

If you have recent textbooks, your university bookstore may buy them back. However, you may get more money by posting a sign on a bulletin board or asking your friends if they are taking the class. Often you can get a price that is more than what the school bookstore buys a used book for, but a little less than the price they would sell it. Check to see what the price at the bookstore, so you can price the book accordingly. also buys used textbooks and offers free shipping. Keep in mind that some textbooks are difficult to sell when they have been reprinted.

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Getting rid of your unwanted books will help your home look more spacious and clutter free. Whether you take a tax deduction or manage to put a little extra cash in your pocket, you will enjoy having the additional space for other items.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Abby Slutsky


MariaMontgomery from Coastal Alabama, USA on October 24, 2021:

Thanks for the link to the site for book sales. I have a hard time parting with my books. We have a small library in our home, so moving is a real pain. We did donate some books to the library when we moved, and I've already wished I had kept some of them. I really enjoyed your article, it provides some great ideas.

Abby Slutsky (author) from America on October 24, 2021:

Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Abby Slutsky (author) from America on October 24, 2021:

Thanks for reading.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 24, 2021:

I have donated books to libraries where they sell them to raise funds. I have also given them to schools and charities. Some friends have also been happy to receive them. I used to have loads of books, but have been downsizing for a number of years.

greg cain from Moscow, Idaho, USA on October 24, 2021:

Very useful tips for folks like us who have scads of books around the house. Great informative article, as usual, Abby.

Abby Slutsky (author) from America on October 24, 2021:

Thanks for reading.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 24, 2021:

I have been doing some downsizing over the pst couple of years. I gave quite a few books to Goodwill, but it is nice to have some more choices, Abby.

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