Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Too many books?

I don't have nearly enough shelf space for all my books, so they tend to pile up in all the expected places around the house. This is 1/3 of one of the 4 piles on the desk in my office - the top of the tallest pile that threatens to topple over at any moment. All but the King book are ones I've already read, but haven't found a place for just yet.

The Michael Korda book was part of the
horse obsession last summer - thank goodness that never went much beyond books! This was my least favorite of the bunch I read and I still haven't managed to recycle it to the trash.

The Pine Barrens field guide more or less lives on my desk together with a wildflower ID book on the off chance that I'll feel like puzzling over the bundle of photos I took there this spring and summer. The McPhee book is a great one, but I'm only a quarter way through it since October or so. I'm not really reading that one in a linear way anyway; instead picking it up and reading a chaper when it falls out of the pile at me.


Fields of Sun and Grass is a great book... one that I've read a few times; most recently back in April in preparation for that trip up to the
Meadowlands in North Jersey

So... I'm wondering what you all do with the books you no longer have a use for? Anything natural history related that I'm willing to part with I donate to the local Audubon chapter for fundraisers, but the rest of them? Save me from being buried, please!


KGMom said...

Oh Laura--you sound like a prime candidate to join FREECYCLE. (Freecycle.org) You find your part of the country, click on it. You do have to sign up--but I love this group.
The premise is--keep it out of landfills. Also one person's trash is another person's treasure. I have given away (that's the point--free) overe 100 items through this list.

Dave @ Around Alaska said...

One of my favorite places is Title Wave Books. A new and used book store with a little of everything else also. You can turn your no longer needed books in for credit.


Endment said...

kgmom and dave have made excellent suggestions but I just take mine to the local library or to a local book dealer - I don't have the energy to market them one by one on e-bay or similar programs - guess I really want the time to do more reading. :)

I always enjoy your comments on the books you are reading - thanks!

MojoMan said...

I first read John McPhee's book over 30 years ago and have been fascinated by the Pine Barrens ever since. I've read it a few times since and a long bicycle tour of the Barrens is still on my 'bucket list.'

Do you recommend that field guide highly? I might get it, but I'm on a de-cluttering kick and am trying to avoid buying more stuff. I'll check the library (What a concept!). I just built a new bookcase with 24 feet of shelves. My goal is to limit the books I have to those that will fit in that one case. Have you read "The Meadowlands" by Robert Sullivan? I can send you my copy so I'll have room on the shelf for that new field guide!

Laura said...

I highly recommend PaperBackSwap. Not only does this allow you to recycle your books, but you get books you want in return! Another similar site is BookMooch, although I haven't used that one myself.

Anonymous said...

I just started at PaperBackSwap, and am really enjoying trading my books for others that I want to read. Thanks for the recommendation for Fields of Sun and Grass. I'll look that one up.

Hey, my witch hazel is blooming. One of the few things that keeps me going on these grey winter days. Bleh. I agree with your previous post -- give us snow, or warmer spring weather.

Wayne, PA

Dorothy said...

I have such a hard time parting with any books, but I really like "Mojoman's" idea about building shelves and limiting the books to keep. I always keep my reference books, but give away the novels or biographys once I've read them.

There are some good links given by the commenters here today...I'm going to check them out.

dguzman said...

Great suggestions for recycling books! Luckily, we have a local used/new bookstore here in town, and I take everything there. Also our local AAUW chapter has a huge booksale each May, and they always take donations.

RuthieJ said...

After all interested family members and others have read the book, I usually donate them to my local public library. Our local history center also has a book sale where I can donate books also. Years ago I also took some over to a local transient guest house and they were thrilled to get some new books for their shelves. How about a homeless shelter or hospital library too?

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Hi Laura--this is right up my alley--as purchaser for our local public library I can say with out a doubt--give them freely to the libraries.
Libraries all over the country are seriously struggling and many times, donations make the difference between having a few books or having many.
And, if you feel that they represent a viewpoint you would like to see furthered--what better way than to plant a book where many may read it and learn!

Mary said...

I've always donated books to private school libraries. They consider book donations a golden gift. I'd never trash a book - just can't do it.

entoto said...

Also look into local school districts. If it is gently used, they can often shelve it!

And I second Dave, Title Wave rocks.