Unclutterer has a great little post guest-written by a librarian, who counsels potential downsizers to stop and consider before they bring a carload of books to their library to ‘donate.’

used booksShe runs through the usual disclaimers about feeling free to chuck the books that are damaged, moldy or in terrible condition. Many libraries have ‘friends’ groups that sell donated items to raise revenue for the library, and even a very old book can lose its value when it becomes too old. But she offers this caveat as well:

“Our Friends group in Lawrence, Kansas, recently adopted some guidelines when we moved into a smaller space because of a library renovation… “

Ah, but isn’t that the reason most homes are getting rid of their books, too? Our local used bookstore stopped accepting cookbooks ages ago because they get so many brand-new ones from overstock suppliers. They also don’t accept paperbacks because it’s just not worth the effort to resell them, and they’d rather keep the shelf space for stuff that will move.

And isn’t that why half the Indigo stores are decor and baby items these days—because real estate is valuable, and they want to use the shelf space they have on stuff that can sell?

Seems these days you can’t even give away a paper book!

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  1. We tell everyone that brings in books to the library that they will NOT go to the library, they will if in excellent condition go to the Friends of the Library or will go to the recycling bin. The messiest part of the library is the Friends book sale/donation area because so many people are just getting rid of everything.

    We get people who insist on donating to the library “for the tax break” even when I explain to them that we ARE the government and there is no deduction for that.

    Your local library may be different but most urban library systems are government run and not tax exempt institutions.

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