What to Do With Your Used Books

10, Apr 2017

used books

I have to admit there’s something special about books. A lovely old fashioned read is not only good for the brain, but also for the soul.

But unfortunately, when it comes time to move, declutter or downsize, you’re often feeling a bit bewildered.  What do you do with the used books you no longer want?  Here are some options:

1. Sell

If they are in good condition, there are lots of great second-hand stores that will resell your books.  Here are a few in Vancouver: Pulpfiction Books, Tanglewood Books, MacLeods Books, Lawrence Books. For details on what they resell,  check out their websites or give them a call.

Another alternative is selling on Amazon.ca.  This tip was shared by a listener of the CBC BC Almanac radio show I was recently on.  After you set yourself up with a seller’s account, it can open you up to a broad buying audience.

Other options?  You can sell them personally, post online or even host a garage sale.

2. Donate

If you don’t have the interest to sell your books, many organizations will accept them.

The Vancouver Public Library will take books that are in good condition and of current interest.  Friends of the Public Library accepts gently used books for fundraising book sales.  Proceeds support library projects and programs.

Charities like Big Brothers, SPCA Thrift Store, Salvation Army, or Developmental Disabilities will also receive your donations.

Another option is dropping your books off at donation bins.  Discover Books has drop boxes across the province and reuses books whenever possible.

3. Recycle

Charities and bookstores are generally not interested in books that are out of date, marked-up, or in poor condition.

used booksThose encyclopedias?  To think back on how much they cost our parents, grandparents or great-grandparents to purchase (in installment plans to boot!) can make us feel really guilty.  But, unless you have rare editions to sell, they are likely not worth anything.

For hardcover books or encyclopedias, the inside pages can be recycled. Unfortunately, the outer covers and spines are considered garbage.  For further information, contact: City of Vancouver Transfer Station & Recycling Depot or Recycling Council of BC.

Do you have additional tips or recommendations on what to do with used books?  Please let us know!