Dang, I hate throwing away books

When we moved five years ago, I took so many boxes of “Friends of the Library” books to the library that they screamed, “Help, please make it stop.” And then they complained when I didn’t come to the book sales and take away as many books as I donated. “I’m downsizing,” I explained. They didn’t care.

Later, I unloaded (that doesn’t sound good, “so turned in”) a grocery sack full of books at a local used book store for “store credit.” Luckily, I found a couple of things that looked good. I came out with fewer books than I walked in with.

There were some places to donate books, but they’ve become more selective and, when it comes down to it, I cannot afford to pay the shipping costs for each book I want to get off my shelf.

So, it’s a crime, I know, but I’m now tossing out old, badly dated books in the trash each week. I decided, for example, that I no longer need my 1980 backpacking guide or a stack of paperbacks I didn’t like the first time I read them.

I used to sell these on Amazon, but Amazon has made establishing a seller account more difficult and I can’t compete with the sellers who’re charging a penny per book and trying to make a little on the shipping. Same goes for eBay.

We’ve discussed moving again. That means I need to get rid of a lot of stuff. Books in bulk are really heavy. I don’t feel like going through another move with more books than most small-town libraries.

Plus, boxes of books really tick off moving companies because when they make their estimates, they don’t expect all that extra weight or the time it takes to load those boxes into their truck.

Lately, I’ve been re-reading a lot of books on my shelf (as well as those stacked up in a closet). This is my poor attempt to stop bringing so many new books into the house. The trouble is, my favorite writers keep writing new stuff that I can’t resist. For example, Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus) is releasing The Starless Sea next week and Theodora Goss just released The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl, the third “Athena Club” novel. This means that I’m under relentless pressure to throw more stuff away to make room for the new stuff.

What I need, is the phone number for a place that accepts old books for good causes and then sends a truck out to pick them up. So far, no luck.




A thousand or so books with no place to go (in my house)

DCFC0011.JPGI’m glad the new public library is open. As the busiest library in the regional system, the Jefferson, Georgia public library needed to get out of its old, cramped facility. The new facility opened June 27 in half of an old grocery store building and the result is a lot of upscale space.

This is where the books in my garage play into the equation. After years of moving stuff from one house to another, my wife and I are downsizing. I’ve already taken about forty sacks of old magazines to the recycling center. But the books–some 15 boxes–aren’t going to be thrown away.

These usually don’t go into the library’s collection. Most are sold by the Friends of the Library group at the annual book sale to help raise money for more programs. Our library will probably have this year’s sale in the fall. Meanwhile, a few books went to the Berry College Library, a couple of boxes went to the library in nearby Talmo, and the rest have been waiting for the Jefferson library to finish moving from the old building to the new building.

In general, I don’t like disposing of books. On the other hand, the place where I’m sitting right now is a home and not a book storage facility. I hope the books find new readers when the next book sale comes along. Needless to say, I’m not going to the sale. I know it’s for a good cause, but seriously, I don’t want to see a thousand books coming back into the garage.

One box went to the library today, but there are more to go in the coming weeks.