Moving to a Smaller Space? How to Find New Homes for Your Many Books

July 12 2014

There is a famous phrase, “books do furnish a room,” but what if you have too many? And are moving?

Too many books? I sense cringing. We all have love affairs with our books.

But look at it this way: If you have a cavernous home, or are moving into one, then by all means pack every book you own, even the big college texts, and tuck them lovingly into your private library stacks.

If this scenario doesn’t work, you might need to choose.

But let’s go deeper…it may simply be time to send a book on to another person. Will you really peruse again through every book in your possession? Books do offer comfort and happy memories but if you have too many for your next home, take a picture of your current collection and send some books on their merry way to others who will devour them as you once did.

Once, a friend of mine was moving from a small apartment in NYC to an even smaller space, a studio. She tucked all the novels she couldn’t bring into grocery bags and left them in her downstairs foyer. The books were gone in five minutes, on to another home. The reason for this little story?

The beautiful truth about books is that they will always find another reader.

Here are some ideas to find new readers for your books:

  • Gift them to friends. It’s a great way to send a friend a little note, too. Even a simple stickie on the cover will do. Who doesn’t like being thought of?
  • Donate to your public library. All libraries love getting gently used books.
  • Have a book/moving party. Invite over friends to take your books and have a cocktail.
  • Click on this link for Better World Books. They’ve raised over $10 million dollars for global literacy and local libraries. As an individual, you have to pay for your shipping. But have a chat with your local library; shipping is free for libraries.
  • If you’d rather go local, check out your local book drop. It’s a super way for local charities to earn money. Here’s a link to find one near you.
  • You can sell your books online at places like Amazon and Half, which is part of eBay.
  • If parting is sweet sorrow, give your books away using a slower method by using a web site called Bookcrossing, which encourages people to give away their books in public places. On the site you’ll need to register a personal identification number, print out a label and place it on the inside cover. After you leave the book behind, you can check the site to see if anyone has reported finding it. The site has this advice: “If you love your books, let them go.”

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