View Full Version : What to do with my books.


Rich_D
04-12-2010, 11:04 PM
O.k., I've stated a couple times that I am a heavy library user, but I do purchase books from a few favorite authors. Now that I have an e-reader and have converted all of them into e-books, what should I do with the physical books? Should I keep them or donate them to the library? The paperbacks are definitely going to the library, but what about the hardbacks? Should I send them to the library or keep them. I'll probably never read them again, but I hate to part with them.

Decisions, decisions...

dmaul1114
04-12-2010, 11:08 PM
Just go over them on a book by book basis.

Keep the ones you may read again, have sentimental attachments to etc., and donate all the rest.

Also factor in if you'll be moving in the future. Few things suck more to move than heavy boxes of books.

Katti's Cat
04-12-2010, 11:41 PM
:ditto:

FizzyWater
04-12-2010, 11:48 PM
Just go over them on a book by book basis.

Keep the ones you may read again, have sentimental attachments to etc., and donate all the rest.

Also factor in if you'll be moving in the future. Few things suck more to move than heavy boxes of books.

This is exactly what I've been doing in the last couple of months. The library system fed my reading needs heavily the first 25 years of my life...I'm happy to donate my books to help the current library I belong to. Some of the books will go into the active collection, but most will go to the next book sale.

Seems to me, places like Goodwill or Volunteers of America just throw what book donations they get into boxes in the back of the room to get torn up and jumbled. I've tried hitting those places in my early days of book buying, and the books there were almost always a disaster.

And Half-Price Books - while a great place to buy books - gives horrible prices on the books it buys from you.

So I just decided to "give back" to a system that gave a lot to me.

pdurrant
04-13-2010, 12:10 PM
O.k., I've stated a couple times that I am a heavy library user, but I do purchase books from a few favorite authors. Now that I have an e-reader and have converted all of them into e-books, what should I do with the physical books? Should I keep them or donate them to the library? The paperbacks are definitely going to the library, but what about the hardbacks? Should I send them to the library or keep them. I'll probably never read them again, but I hate to part with them.

Decisions, decisions...

While you certainly (in the US) have the right to format shift the paperbooks into ebook format, I don't think you have the right to keep the ebooks while giving away or selling the original paper books.

Just what to do with them is a tricky question if you want the space back. At least with CDs you can dump the bulky cases and just keep the disks (& liner notes). But with books there's no way to reduce the storage volume.

Sydney's Mom
04-13-2010, 12:17 PM
My library has a space problem, and won't accept donated used books. Mine are all in boxes down in the basement!

dsvick
04-13-2010, 12:24 PM
And Half-Price Books - while a great place to buy books - gives horrible prices on the books it buys from you.

So I just decided to "give back" to a system that gave a lot to me.

Very true, a box of book sold to half price books will net you enough to go buy one book from one the shelves :)

If you donate the books to the library are they tax deductible (in the US)? If so then I'd bet the fair value of the books that you can deduct would be significantly more than anything you'd get from a reseller.

gastan
04-13-2010, 12:45 PM
If you donate the books to the library are they tax deductible (in the US)?

I am not a lawyer so this is not a professional opinion, but ...... I have been doing just this for many years. In fact the Portland, Oregon library gives you a receipt for you to use for your taxes. You need to itemize to take advantage of the tax break.

I only donate hardbound books and I claim 80% of the cover price as the deduction. I remove the dust cover and take very good care of a hardbound as I read it so it is always in "like new" condition when I donate it.

I have never been questioned about this practice. Of course, I am not in a mega-tax-bracket, either. I believe Turbo Tax even has a category for book donations in their It's Deductible software.

abookreader
04-13-2010, 01:06 PM
It is actually really hard to get rid of books around here. The library will take them but they sell them ... 50cents for a paperbook and $1 for a hardback and that is at the beginning of their sales. By the end of the day they're going $2 a bag and just hoping somebody carts them off. The hospital and shelters weren't accepting last time I checked... the nursing homes want large print, only one thrift store will take them.

Our Church used to keep a "Take One if You Want It" shelf down in the basement but I always felt kind of funny leaving romance-y smut down there in God's basement.

Getting rid of paperbooks and not feeling like I'm just filling landfills or my own basement was one of the numerous reasons I loved going digital.

Rich_D
04-13-2010, 01:23 PM
While you certainly (in the US) have the right to format shift the paperbooks into ebook format, I don't think you have the right to keep the ebooks while giving away or selling the original paper books.


I'll take my chances with the feds. ;)

Unlike many on this board, I have no ethical qualms with pirating an e-book. If I can find an e-book at my library, I'll check it out that way, but if the author isn't one of my favorites, I'll pirate it before I buy it. If the author is one of my favorites, I'll buy it.

I've boxed them all up and will be taking them to the library tomorrow. A couple are signed by the author, so I've set them aside, maybe they can do something special with them.

DanT
04-13-2010, 01:33 PM
A while back I heard about http://www.bookcrossing.com/

Interesting idea but I have never tried it yet.

The idea is to release the book somewhere public with a Free book sticker and info about the bookcrossing site. So if your lucky someone will pick it up and register or is already a member so you can follow the book around the world as it get read and release again.

The website also allow you to see which book has been release in your regions.

jupstin
04-13-2010, 01:43 PM
I've been wondering about what to do with my books as well. Unlike Rich_D, I'm starting to worry about the ethical problems of pirating books. I used to work for a book store, and we would only send covers back to the publisher and discard the rest (I guess this was quite a bit cheaper than sending the whole thing back.) In any case, I wonder if something like that would work. I could rip the covers off of my mass market p-backs and throw away the rest. Not that I like the idea of throwing away books...

Rich_D
04-13-2010, 03:45 PM
A while back I heard about http://www.bookcrossing.com/

Interesting idea but I have never tried it yet.

The idea is to release the book somewhere public with a Free book sticker and info about the bookcrossing site. So if your lucky someone will pick it up and register or is already a member so you can follow the book around the world as it get read and release again.

The website also allow you to see which book has been release in your regions.

I see books like that every once in a while here at work. I think it's a cool idea, but I figure if I can give something back to my library, I will.

Rich_D
04-13-2010, 03:49 PM
I've been wondering about what to do with my books as well. Unlike Rich_D, I'm starting to worry about the ethical problems of pirating books. I used to work for a book store, and we would only send covers back to the publisher and discard the rest (I guess this was quite a bit cheaper than sending the whole thing back.) In any case, I wonder if something like that would work. I could rip the covers off of my mass market p-backs and throw away the rest. Not that I like the idea of throwing away books...

Yeah, I really don't like the idea of throwing them away. I'd just keep them on my shelves if it came to that. I figure if someone picks up a book for $.50 at a sale and like it, they might go out and buy additional books from that author.

Marcy
04-13-2010, 04:54 PM
Yeah, I really don't like the idea of throwing them away. I'd just keep them on my shelves if it came to that. I figure if someone picks up a book for $.50 at a sale and like it, they might go out and buy additional books from that author.

Yes. Even if my library does sell them for 50 now someone has a book they'll read and hopefully appreciate and the library has 50 they didn't have before. And the person who bought the book for 50 might pass it along to others who will appreciate it as well. Much better than just sitting on my shelf unappreciated or being tossed into the trash.

-Marcy

BookCat
04-14-2010, 01:45 AM
I've been thinking along similar lines. I have lots of classics, but prefer to read the MR formatted versions than the p-backs. Should I clear up the amazing clutter of books in my house, getting rid, somehow, of the out of copyright books? Or should I keep them in case my ereader kicks the bucket?

jupstin
04-14-2010, 12:38 PM
That's a fascinating question. I suppose the e-reader could definitely die...I think I'd have to keep hard copies of my favorites. This actually sort of encourages me to buy the most awesome editions of my favorite books...hmm...eventually I'd get a new e-reader, but in the meantime I'd definitely need to be able to at least read SOMETHING.

Rich_D
04-14-2010, 12:41 PM
That's a fascinating question. I suppose the e-reader could definitely die...I think I'd have to keep hard copies of my favorites. This actually sort of encourages me to buy the most awesome editions of my favorite books...hmm...eventually I'd get a new e-reader, but in the meantime I'd definitely need to be able to at least read SOMETHING.

Yeah, I could always fall back to my T/X or in a pinch my laptop, so I'm not concerned about something dying. I haven't pulled a book off my shelves for probably close to a year, so I might as well give them to someone who will get some use out of them.

abookreader
04-14-2010, 12:50 PM
I've been thinking along similar lines. I have lots of classics, but prefer to read the MR formatted versions than the p-backs. Should I clear up the amazing clutter of books in my house, getting rid, somehow, of the out of copyright books? Or should I keep them in case my ereader kicks the bucket?

That's the main reason that every eBook I buy gets the DRM stripped and is backed up to my own personal storage system ... If I'm going to be spending $3 to $4 more per book now I'm certainly not all that psyched at the thought of repurchasing them in the future.

Especially in the current pricing war climate, I don't trust the Retailers or the Publishers to protect my right to have my books for the rest of my reading life. Look at what's going on with Fictionwise right now and all the sudden you can't re-download anything.

Patricia
04-14-2010, 01:19 PM
I give my redundant treeware books to a homeless people's hostel, or to a local old people's home. Both are trying to set up libraries for their residents and are very pleased to receive donations.
The local mental hospital also has a library for patients' use, as does the local prison. They lo take books.

calvin-c
04-14-2010, 07:22 PM
I'll take my chances with the feds. ;)

Unlike many on this board, I have no ethical qualms with pirating an e-book. If I can find an e-book at my library, I'll check it out that way, but if the author isn't one of my favorites, I'll pirate it before I buy it. If the author is one of my favorites, I'll buy it.

I've boxed them all up and will be taking them to the library tomorrow. A couple are signed by the author, so I've set them aside, maybe they can do something special with them.

So in your opinion, something's only wrong if you get caught? I do wish the schools would teach ethics any more, but I'll admit it's hard when so few adults seem to have them.

Rich_D
04-14-2010, 09:19 PM
So in your opinion, something's only wrong if you get caught? I do wish the schools would teach ethics any more, but I'll admit it's hard when so few adults seem to have them.

No, I accept that to some people's perspective, my downloading books from p2p sites is ethically wrong. I just disagree with that perspective.

In my opinion downloading a book is no different than checking it out from a library. If I like the author's work, I'll end up purchasing more of his work, including the title that I pirated. If I don't like it, I probably won't even finish the book and the title will shortly be deleted from my library.

I also don't believe it is ethically wrong to download a copy of a book that I already own in another format. I paid the price for the content, how I choose to view it is up to me.

owlrigh
04-14-2010, 10:10 PM
It depends upon what you have in your personal library, I think. If you have mostly classics and romances you wouldn't have much in the way of resale value, not unless you have an old Judy Cuevas or something people are dying to get their hands on again.

If you know your particular likes in reading then you might be able to resell them again on the likes of Amazon Marketplace or ebay or something like that -- but then you'll have to deal with postage issues when people do buy them. On the other hand, this does mean that you'll be able to pad out your future ebook buying kitty.

e.g. at one point, many years ago, I used to go hit the library sales and pick up all the really old SF stuff which, yes, I did make some money on when I sold it years later. A box of books for $1! People do want old things :)

emonti8384
04-14-2010, 11:01 PM
I sorted out the books I could give a sh*t less about and put them in a box with the intention to take them to the library. I have a few hardbacks that are quite new, and I'm sure they would end up on the shelves. Alas, to actually get to the library...it's taking me longer than I thought, lol. I held on to the books that I absolutely love-couldn't see myself parting with them even tho I purchased the ebook version of the exact same book. Being sentimental takes up space, lol.

ImogenRose
04-15-2010, 02:56 AM
Just go over them on a book by book basis.

Keep the ones you may read again, have sentimental attachments to etc., and donate all the rest.

Also factor in if you'll be moving in the future. Few things suck more to move than heavy boxes of books.

:thumbsup:

omk3
04-15-2010, 07:13 PM
I've been gradually clearing my shelves ever since I got my first ebook reader.

The first to go were the books I didn't much care about (they should have gone before, but the decision to switch to ebooks was an incentive to start the sorting).

Next I get rid of all my paper books for which I can find an electronic copy. All my paper books are donated to charity shops. I would never just throw them away, even books I didn't much like.

Some paper books I still want to keep, or I'm not sure, usually because of some obscure sentimental reason. Usually they are eventually given away too, with the next "shipment". My main problem is with languages: I have books in greek translation and can find electronic copies of them in english translation. Assuming none of those is the original language of the book, which one to keep? Haven't been able to answer this one yet. But getting back my space will probably win.

Dr. Drib
04-16-2010, 07:13 AM
Well, when you're a book collector with some expensive books, then you don't put them in a box and dump them in the basement.

My F/F First American hardcover editions of J.M.G. LeClezio aren't going to be donated! [Hahahahahah!]

Go check the prices on his first 5 books in this condition. (I've got three of them.)

Of course, I could sell them and then use the $1,200-$2,000 to perhaps buy one rose for my wife, and then buy yet another ebook Reader for me [that's insane!]....or perhaps buy that McIntosh 252 amplifier that I've been lusting after (with a bit more cash, I might add) to mate up with my McIntosh 6300 Integrated Amp that I just bought. And then, just sit back and listen to the lush sounds of Miles Davis and Bill Evans.

Mmmmmmm...... :):)



Don

Moejoe
04-16-2010, 07:17 AM
What you can't give away, donate or sell, shred. I have zero physical books now. All gone. It's great having my entire library on a tiny card no bigger than a thumbnail. :)

omk3
04-16-2010, 07:22 AM
What you can't give away, donate or sell, shred. I have zero physical books now. All gone. It's great having my entire library on a tiny card no bigger than a thumbnail. :)

So did you scan all your books that you couldn't find in electronic format? Because I'm sure not all your books had ebook versions. A lot of mine haven't, legal or otherwise.

And I have to ask: zero physical books, and apparently no reading device. You haven't stopped reading altogether, have you? :D (It's okay if you are only writing now!)

Rich_D
04-16-2010, 09:43 AM
I have one set of books that aren't available as ebooks. I'm debating on going through the trouble to scan them myself. Right now I'm just holding out hope that the publisher will release them in ebooks.