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Old 04-12-2010, 11:04 PM   #1
Rich_D
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What to do with my books.

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...
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:08 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:41 PM   #3
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:48 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rich_D View Post
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.
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:17 PM   #6
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My library has a space problem, and won't accept donated used books. Mine are all in boxes down in the basement!
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:24 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:45 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:06 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:23 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:33 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:43 PM   #12
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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...
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Old 04-13-2010, 03:45 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 04-13-2010, 03:49 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 04-13-2010, 04:54 PM   #15
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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
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