View Full Version : Getting Rid of Your Real Books


Gideon
01-27-2008, 09:54 AM
I've seen a lot of posts regarding people who get rid of their old books, clear up shelf space, etc. I'm just wondering if someone could elaborate on that.

I mean, I get the stuff you may be able to acquire easily in the public domain... but what about other books? Things you buy from one store or another. I couldn't be happier with my eBook reader, and I may buy versions of some of the books I have for it - but I'd never get rid of the originals. The copies you buy are in a proprietary, DRM'd format... and all it takes is them to no longer support it for you to lose your library.

A few years ago, I bought a PDF book from Amazon. Then, a bit ago I tried to open the file to find out that Amazon was no longer authorizing these and upon contacting Amazon was told, more or less, that I was SOL. I bought it, paid for it.... and then couldn't use it at all, with no recourse, because Amazon decided to quit selling those types of eBooks.

So, maybe I misunderstand what people are saying. Anyone care to explain it to me?

acemccloudxx
01-27-2008, 10:31 AM
I would never get rid of any paper book that I had only a DRM version of. It's sort of like the peculiar formatting rules that the Gutenberg project follows - you never know what is going to happen.

Patricia
01-27-2008, 10:45 AM
I've been getting rid of the PD classics: so, for example, my Dickens has been replaced with HarryT's excellent versions.
But I have been keeping the paper books where the only electronic version I have is drm'd.

HarryT
01-27-2008, 11:48 AM
I've been getting rid of the PD classics: so, for example, my Dickens has been replaced with HarryT's excellent versions.
But I have been keeping the paper books where the only electronic version I have is drm'd.

Horror! I'd throw out pretty much anything EXCEPT my Dickens. If I threw it out, what would I have to proof-read my Dickens eBooks against? :)

dtenenbo
01-27-2008, 11:53 AM
I am one of those people that decided to get rid of his library.

A large percentage of my books were in public domain--that was easy. Another bookshelf or two contained books that I knew I was keeping just for reference. These I could always get in my local library (or on Google Books when pay-per-view comes).

In general, I am trying to change my attitude towards owning content. It is cumbersome to maintain a personal collection of texts, music, and video when the corresponding online databases are becoming more complete, more accessible, and less expensive with everyday. Your .pdf may be obsolete in a few years, but chances are that another electronic version will be available for a fraction of the cost.

I still buy paper books once in a while, but I have no intention of keeping them. I have stopped buying music and video entirely though, substituting those with Pandora and Netflix.

Simplify!

TallMomof2
01-27-2008, 01:16 PM
Basically if I can procure an electronic version without DRM or a LIT version then the paper version is gone. I'm toying with scanning and OCRing some of my favorite pbooks that aren't available legally electronically.

AnemicOak
01-27-2008, 01:22 PM
The copies you buy are in a proprietary, DRM'd format... and all it takes is them to no longer support it for you to lose your library.

I only buy LIT versions of books which I then convert for my Reader (I'd do the same if I had a Kindle or Cybook) so that I'll be able to convert them to other formats if needed in the future. I guess this depends on how you feel about breaking the DRM on LIT files. I don't have a particular problem since I'm format shifting books I bought for my own use only.


I've been able to get rid of some books, but I am finding it hard to give up my pbook copies of many of them. It's probably illogical, but I just can't make myself get rid of some of them. I have stored some of what I've replaced with ebooks in boxes and no longer have them taking up shelf space.

Gideon
01-27-2008, 04:48 PM
I mainly have nonfiction books, many of them obscure enough not to be available for the readers... but I have been scanning my books in very successfully for my class this semester. I can't imagine getting rid of any of my books though... I may not read many more not in the reader, but I love being able to grab one and look something up real quick. And there isn't much resell value anyway, so there's that... lol.. Though I admit it'd be nice to have less book shelves.

Regarding LIT books... I can see how that'd be a good idea, but aren't they quite pricey? I saw a book I picked up at Borders the other day for 10 and for 20 at Powells in .lit format. (I miss Powell's... I used to live in Portland - it really is a City of Books!)

Ervserver
01-27-2008, 05:27 PM
when our readers arrive and we can buy the e-versions of our favorite books we will get rid of quite a few of the paper versions. Some books though that we have a complete series of we will likely keep

rhadin
01-27-2008, 06:48 PM
I am not only keeping my print versions, I am adding to my library. Where my Sony Reader replaces print books for me is in fiction and in older books that can only be gotten in the used book market for a very premium price. For example, I would read the ebook version of Bleak House rather than buy a print version because were I to buy a print version, I would only be interested in a first edition in VG to fine condition, an edition whose price I am currently unwilling to pay. Similarly, I would buy and read the ebook version of Savage Survival by Darrell Bain because it is fiction from an unfamiliar author and I am unwilling to buy a print version until I deem his writing worthy of joining my library.

OTOH, a book such as When Asia Was The World, a new nonfiction release, I would (and did) buy the print version rather than the ebook version. This is the kind of book I want in my library as a permanent book that I can refer to and my grandchildren can use, for example, when writing a school report.

I guess what I'm saying is that for me ebooks are either disposable books or are books no longer available in print in first edition versions except at a very premium price.

AnemicOak
01-27-2008, 08:17 PM
Regarding LIT books... I can see how that'd be a good idea, but aren't they quite pricey? I saw a book I picked up at Borders the other day for 10 and for 20 at Powells in .lit format. (I miss Powell's... I used to live in Portland - it really is a City of Books!)

Depends on the book & the publisher. Some publishers still insist on charging the same 'cover price' they do for the current most expensive print version. So if the only print version out is a hardcover with a cover price of $25.95 then that will be the list price of the ebook too. It then depends on how much the retailer discounts the book. When I buy hardcover equivalents I find I can get many of them for $10-$12. I paid $16 for one once, but when they're that much I tend to wait for the paperback equivalent pricing to take effect so I can get it for $4-$5. Don't know about Powells as I've never bought ebooks there.


I should say that all my comments earlier & here are based on fiction books. I don't think I could ever part with my non-fiction stuff at all. At least not with the current reader I have. When I'm using my non-fiction books I tend to generally want to flip to certain parts of the book to look something up & read a few pages. For me paper is a more convenient way to do that and think it still would be even if my reader had a search function.

JSWolf
01-27-2008, 08:55 PM
Even if I have the pBook edition and the eBook edition, I am keeping the pBook.

Patricia
01-27-2008, 09:13 PM
Horror! I'd throw out pretty much anything EXCEPT my Dickens. If I threw it out, what would I have to proof-read my Dickens eBooks against? :)

But, as a result of your efforts, your versions of Dickens are very much nicer and more accurate than the cheap paperbacks available. And yours are kinder on my eyes than the tiny print in my late grandfather's copies (now given to my sister).

HarryT
01-28-2008, 03:25 AM
I don't think I could ever part with my non-fiction stuff at all. At least not with the current reader I have. When I'm using my non-fiction books I tend to generally want to flip to certain parts of the book to look something up & read a few pages. For me paper is a more convenient way to do that and think it still would be even if my reader had a search function.

Much of my non-fiction consists of programming books, which very quickly "date". I regularly have a "clear-out" and throw out the obsolete ones.

Mrraow
01-28-2008, 04:47 AM
Myself, I'm trying to get my books back down to one room. I estimate that I need to replace another thousand or so pbooks with ebook equivalents. I only buy DRM-free ebooks from baen and Fictionwise at present; I certainly wouldn't regard a DRMed book as 'owned'.

I thought this thread would be about how to dispose of your p-books - I have been getting depressingly low prices for old SF on ebay (not to mention the hassle), and the local dealers won't touch the hardbacks.

HarryT
01-28-2008, 04:51 AM
I thought this thread would be about how to dispose of your p-books - I have been getting depressingly low prices for old SF on ebay (not to mention the hassle), and the local dealers won't touch the hardbacks.

I just put mine into my "paper for recycling" dustbin. It's virtually impossible to get rid of 2nd hand books where I live - even my local library isn't interested in taking them off my hands.

Patricia
01-28-2008, 07:21 AM
My local charity shop will take some of my surplus books. A local hospital with long-stay wards also takes some for its hospital library. I've also offoaded some to an old people's home, though most went to a homeless people's shelter which wanted to start a library. I'm thinking of taking the next load to a mental hospital. I met a nurse who told me that their patients' library was very meagre.

These aren't valuable books (- I'm keeping those). Even so, I can't bear to think of destroying them. So I'm trying to place them somewhere where they can be read.

astra
01-28-2008, 07:22 AM
The copies you buy are in a proprietary, DRM'd format... and all it takes is them to no longer support it for you to lose your library.

A few years ago, I bought a PDF book from Amazon. Then, a bit ago I tried to open the file to find out that Amazon was no longer authorizing these and upon contacting Amazon was told, more or less, that I was SOL. I bought it, paid for it.... and then couldn't use it at all, with no recourse, because Amazon decided to quit selling those types of eBooks.

Simply put, I do not buy DRMed books. As far as I am concerned this cathegory of books do not exist.
I don't care that *.lit is more expensive, because in a long run it is cheaper - I will not have to re-purchase the book in the future.
After I bought PRS-500 I got rid of all paper back books that I had (local charity shop - Oxfam). I am planning to get rid of some of my hard back editions(such as Terry Brooks and Terry Goodkind) in the future as well. Maybe I will try to sell them via amazon market.
I am still buying hard back editions of books that belong to series I have strated to collect long time ago, however, I do not purchase any new series. I will get them in ebook format when I decide to read them.

vivaldirules
01-28-2008, 08:04 AM
If you're done with your pbooks and can't find a good place to donate them to, you might consider shipping your old pbooks to your region's organization that will give them to people who will read them: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17422

montsnmags
01-29-2008, 04:48 AM
Another idea which may be of interest is BookCrossing:

http://www.bookcrossing.com/

It's a catch-and-release program for books.

Of course, I've only ever "released" seven books and none of them have been re-caught, but perhaps my release-spots weren't optimum.

Still, it might be of interest to some, with the added advantage that you can keep an eye out on the websites for books that have been released in your area, and go on a hunt for them.

Cheers,
Marc

Jiiri
01-30-2008, 10:10 AM
I've been scanning my library and moving them (via OCR) to unprotected .prc for my Kindle. It is somewhat labor intensive, perhaps 15 hours per book, but it is enjoyable for me, kind of like meditation. :) Once I'm finished, I have a digital copy forever. I then box them up and they go in the garage (alongside my CD collection).

As far as copyrights go, I think of it like ripping an owned CD to mp3 for use on my iPod. I'm not distributing these files, just using them on my Kindle.

Jiiri

RWood
01-30-2008, 11:46 AM
Like Patricia, I have gotten rid of many pbooks and replaced them with the PD versions posted here. (This may explain some of the stranger books I have posted in the download section.) Some were cheap paperback editions imaged from an older text and having a print quality only a dedicated student with good eyes could read -- eyes that I no longer have. This past weekend I did as Harry mentioned and disposed of many of the obsolete programming books -- how many COBOL and Turbo Pascal for DOS books does one really need.

RWood
01-30-2008, 11:49 AM
Another idea which may be of interest is BookCrossing:

http://www.bookcrossing.com/

It's a catch-and-release program for books.

Of course, I've only ever "released" seven books and none of them have been re-caught, but perhaps my release-spots weren't optimum.

Still, it might be of interest to some, with the added advantage that you can keep an eye out on the websites for books that have been released in your area, and go on a hunt for them.

Cheers,
Marc

I've done that with a bunch of books. All were gone within a day and this is not a main area for that traffic. I did share with one shop owner and she is considering adding her place as a catch and release point.

Steven Lyle Jordan
01-30-2008, 01:39 PM
Personally, I would love to be able to replace my paperback collection with electronic files, for two reasons: One, paperbacks aren't exactly high-quality products in the first place, and Two, I'd love to remove some bookshelves. And if readers were of better quality, I'd add my collection of comics, manga and graphic novels to that collection, and lose another bookshelf (and a lot of boxes besides).

The value of having my entire lit collection in electronic formats, backed-up in a secure location, is very attractive to me, and to a lot of people... that's why I'd like to do it. But alas, I don't have the time to scan my own books, so for the moment, they're not going anywhere. Heck, the availability of e-books is still so inconsistent that I'm still buying print books as often as e-books. But maybe someday...

aapezzuto
01-31-2008, 02:05 AM
Much of my non-fiction consists of programming books, which very quickly "date". I regularly have a "clear-out" and throw out the obsolete ones.

Oh man, I feel your pain. I have spent so much money for O'Riely books only to have to throw them out a few years later. It makes me so sad! However I wouldn't trade them for the world... well maybe if i could get a properly referenced pdf, and a dedicated ebook device that was color, and lightning fast... or most of Madagascar... I would definitely trade them for an Isolated location like that :-)

Sparrow
01-31-2008, 03:45 AM
I just put mine into my "paper for recycling" dustbin. It's virtually impossible to get rid of 2nd hand books where I live - even my local library isn't interested in taking them off my hands.

I get rid of my old books, and other stuff I no longer need, through my nearest Freecycle group (http://www.freecycle.org/groups/).

grimo1re
01-31-2008, 07:10 AM
I keep nice illustrated books, reference books and such. The rest gets liberated through Bookcrossing.

renderstudio
01-31-2008, 08:05 PM
I enjoy giving my good, fun, well-worn books to friends.
A hint about that DRM'd book that you purchased, . . . the difference between a drm book file and a not drm'd book file is about five minutes of google. Heck, the difference between a .lit, a .pdb, a .lrf, a .prc, a .doc, and an html file is a little wrapper that tells your computer what to do with it.

kfarmer
02-01-2008, 03:02 AM
Guess I'm just freakish -- I still have books from when I was, oh, about 7 or so. The only way books leave my library is of their own accord. Even disintegration just elevates them to the bibliophilic nursing home.

I love my 505 -- it's got me reading again, more often. It's lighter, easier to hold upright long hours in bed.

But books have much more personality. Differences in paper, print, etc.

My late aunt and I were quite fond of the smell of books.

Maggie May
02-02-2008, 06:53 PM
Where I live we have a couple of charity collections every few months. I'm a bit of a hoarder. It's a great way of having a clear out, and somebody benefits from it as well. I also pass books to my friends. They are always delighted to receive them. I hold on to my favourite ones, and come back to them from time to time. They are my "Keepers". I only recently purchased an eBook Reader. However, I shall still buy the odd paperback or hardback. I just love the feel of paper, and always will I guess.

Mag.

sianon
02-02-2008, 08:32 PM
I am in the process of disposing of a considerable amount of my printbooks because they simply take up too much room and are unlikely to ever be read again. My non fiction books will never be replaced by e-books as I don't believe the technology will ever be good enough to display high resolution colour images. Nor will the technology replace the pleasure of looking at photographs which have been printed ob high quality paper and bound into a coffee table book.

M0zza
02-05-2008, 09:01 AM
When I last moved I was able to offload a lot of my books to charity (along with a box of videos I thought I'd binned years ago). Being a hoarder, the rest stayed at my fathers.

By the sounds of it most of my relatives have been pilfering them over the last couple of years, but I still have more books to take to charity when I get back to the UK. I can't keep them, the wife would kill me. I'll just have to hoard digitally.

But then I have enough ebooks to keep me going till doomsday.

zelda_pinwheel
02-05-2008, 05:40 PM
this weekend i had a small clear-out and gave away about 20 paperbacks. these were all old books that i have since found PD texts of ; i only give away a pbook if i have an e version or i am POSITIVE i will never want to read it again (that case is pretty rare). i was really pleased to give them away since i have so many books i literally don't know where to put them anymore, and these in particular were old and tending to be dusty and not very inviting (especially since i am allergic to dustmites).

i can't bear to throw a book away no matter how old and dusty it is but there are plenty i would love to see go nonetheless, for lack of space and dust issues. however there are also plenty i will never give away, even if i do get an e version, either because they are good quality editions, or art books, or because i like the covers, or there is a sentimental attachment, or...

- i gave a few to a friend who stopped by,
- some to a café near my house which has an informal lending library (a big bookshelf full of books, the "official" rule is bring a book / take a book but they don't hold you to it, in practice you can take whatever you like),
- others i will donate to my library for their "book exchange" which is just a table in the entry full of free books donated by members, you can take whatever interests you. they hold one every few months.
- i could also give them away through freecycle but since i have other options that's usually a last resort.

i like knowing that they are still out there and other people will read them ; it would be sad to leave them eternally sitting on shelves here never getting any attention.

of course i also just bought around 10 new paperbooks recently (not available in e versions...) so it feels a little like "two steps forward, one step back."

funny story, one of the new paperbooks is an omnibus edition with 3 novels in it. it's almost 600 pages long, slightly oversize, *really* heavy. almost the size of a phone directory (from before online yellowpages :rolleyes:) it was the first paperbook i read since i got my eb1150. when i picked it up for the first time, all i could think was "arg ! there's no possible way to hold this with one hand ! and it's so heavy ! and it's too thick to open very well so the text near the binding is hard to read !! and ARG !! when i turn on my side in bed, the top half of the book blocks the light from the page i'm trying to read !! and my thumb is getting sore now and my wrist is tired from propping it up !!!" i forgot about all that, with my eb1150... i wish i could find that book in e version !!!

i guess i'm definitely convinced by the ebook device experience...

nekokami
02-05-2008, 06:50 PM
I still own nearly every book I've bought or been given, but most of them are now in boxes because we just don't have room for enough shelves in our present house. I'd pass on most of my paperbacks and manga if I could get them all in non-DRM ebooks. Many of them aren't available anywhere, even on the darknet. I don't have time to scan them all. I wish I could be in a club where it was ok to swap scans with others who owned the same book in paper. (I guess I'd still have to keep the paper versions in storage somewhere if I did that, but at least I'd have access to the content more easily than I do now!)

I had a difficult time giving away the books in the only major purge I've ever done, just before we moved to this house. Most of what I gave away were books I'd been given by someone else purging their library that I'd never gotten around to reading and wasn't really interested in trying to read anymore. The library wouldn't take them. We ended up giving them to a charity store.

astra
02-06-2008, 07:20 AM
but most of them are now in boxes because we just don't have room for enough shelves in our present house.

That's a point when I would give away the books. I cannot stand having books in boxes.

zulugroove
02-13-2008, 12:32 PM
I wouldnt throw away any book just to free my shelf space. instead i gave my books from the childhood the local library. i still have around 100 books lying around, which i drag from one share appartement to the another. most of them are my all time favorits which i cant have enough of, like: kafkas and s. kings shorts, abbotts flatland, jaspers about the truth, tolstois war&peace, dantes divina commedia and so on. they are full of personal notes from different moments in my live. i like to reread them.

Dennis1187
02-13-2008, 09:01 PM
When I retired in 2001, we sold our house, furniture, etc. and took up permanent living and traveling in our motorhome. I had to part with almost 2,000 books (hardcover, collectibles, etc.). I still had over 600 paperbacks that I stored at my daughter's, mostly fiction and fantasy. Over the last two years I have replaced 200+ and have acquired another 150 that I never had before --- all in ebook. I prefer Microsoft Reader and eReader, but have gotten files in .txt, pdf, html, etc. They are easily converted to almost any format you want. I have found several book sharing sites that keep the cost down. It is the only way I can continue to collect books and I love having 1,000 or more on my IPAQ at one time.

woofb
03-09-2008, 09:14 AM
I've seen a lot of posts regarding people who get rid of their old books, clear up shelf space, etc. I'm just wondering if someone could elaborate on that.

I've just ordered a Cybook. It's going to be mainly used for reading copies of Those Books Wot I Ave Got In Storage Because They Don't Fit On The Shelf.

I have six or seven book storage boxes, and it's often a real pain to retrieve a particular book, particularly if it's under other boxes...

Woofb