Getting Rid of Loads of Books

Used Books, by Flikr's "babblingdweeb"; © 2005 "babblingdweeb" CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Holly Lisle’s move inspired me. In the process of moving, she got rid of a huge amount of stuff, and now she has a clean house. Wow. I’d like a clean house, one where everything has a spot and there’s a spot for everything.

As it turns out, we’re coming to the end of our lease, and now we’re looking to move to a cheaper apartment. Which provides a great opportunity to get rid of massive amounts of the stuff we’ve been piling up for the past 16 years.

Included in this stuff are over 5 bookcases worth of books, and some of these bookcases are literally falling apart. Now, there are a number of books I haven’t yet read (and plan to read), a number of books I read again and again (or refer to from time to time), and a number of books that are classics (or that don’t actually belong to me). But that still leaves most of those 5-bookcases-plus of books. I so wish to keep my books, because I’m a sentimental pack rat. (Besides which, they’re still good books, and it would be a shame to waste them.) But we need to make room. So I’ve been doing some soul-searching, and I’ve resolved to get rid of at least half of my old books.

So how to do it? Like everyone else, I’ve heard stories of people selling used stuff on eBay. So I did a little research into that possibility. A few of the books I have, I might be able to unload on eBay. But most book auctions on eBay have 0 bids, even the auctions will bargain-basement minimum prices. So I guess that means there are some great book bargains to be had on eBay! But at the same time, it means eBay is probably a poor way to get rid of old books. All those eBay sellers were still left with the old books they were trying to get rid of.

So, a number of my used books I could probably unload on eBay, because they fall into a category of books that are actually popular among eBay buyers. A number more I could probably sell to the used-book store down the street.

The rest I could give away. And I would be happy to do that, as long as I believed the recipients would actually read them. However, I have my doubts, because everybody likes to get free stuff—especially on the Internet. I too have graciously accepted numerous free books, books that I’ve never read. However, the books that I’ve bought myself, they’re on the top of my to-read list (if I still haven’t read them).

So I’ll probably end up going with a compromise: Maybe sell them super cheap, just to filter out the pure freebie-seekers, and probably throw in a copy of Love through the Eyes of an Idiot as a bonus.

For now, I’m still going through my shelves and shelves, putting books into two piles: the “keep” pile and the “give up” pile.

What do you think? What should I do with all these books?