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Topic: bookshelf isn't moving!

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Subject: bookshelf isn't moving!
Date Posted: 2/25/2012 9:45 AM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2010
Posts: 23
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I got a couple of bags of free books off Freecycle, popular hardcover fiction.

My husband has read them so they are posted to my bookshelf, but I am able to see that many of them have 100s of copies posted.

I assume my copy may not be requested for years, esp because they are hardcovers and more expensive to mail when reposted.

What do you do with books that don't move along, that you aren't intererested in having sit around for years?  It's not a ton, just two paper grocery bags.

I don't want to just drop them off at Goodwill, and want to do something with them through pbs. I've done military donation before through pbs, but again, these are BIG books, and take a lot of space.  Does that not matter?  What are other options?Or is my assumption wrong - will I not have to have Tom Clancy and Robin Cook lounging in my sewing room for years, and I should wait?

If I were more active on the discussion boards or elsewhere on the site, would my bookshelf see more action?



Date Posted: 2/25/2012 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 460
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You can offer a deal (i.e. two-for-one)  on the "book bazaar" forum.  But since these are hardcovers, it might be expensive to mail them.

Do you have a Half-Price-Books store near you?  I often take my books there to sell for cash or store credit.  They won't give you much for them - maybe 50 cents to a dollar each depending on their condition, age, etc.


Date Posted: 2/25/2012 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Check out your local used book stores and see if they'll take them for trade in. With some authors, though, even they're swamped with them and may not want more. Tom Clancy and Robin Cook are pretty heavy out there. My UBS sells their for 80 cents or less, just to get their shelf space back.

You can check Amazons 'trade in' program. They buy back some books, and the list changes all the time depending on demand. There's Cash4books, but I haven't used them.

It really just depends on how many there are out there still, and the demand.


Date Posted: 2/25/2012 11:31 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,603
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Looking at your shelf, you're right--most of them probably have hundreds of copies in the system and are not likely to get chosen very quickly because of the hardcover issue on top of the sheer number of them available.

I would say try to sell at a UBS like Half-Price books...even if they only give you .50 for them at least they are out of your space and not going to hang around for years. Amazon rarely accepts fiction books in their trade-in program, usually it's textbooks or things that might be used as a textbook like cookbooks, references, biographies, etc. When I was trying to pare down my TBR stacks last year, I only found two books out of hundreds I looked up that they would take.

When I first joined PBS I did the same thing you did and ended up donating a bunch of books I'd picked up specifically to list here to a local nursing home and the library because I picked the wrong books...ones I thought would go quick because of the popular authors...not realizing that thousands of others had the same idea. You live and learn! Now I basically just acquire books I want to read myself and then let the chips fall where they may when I am done and post them.


Date Posted: 2/25/2012 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,359
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However, do consider that even with over 100 or 200 other copies listed, it may still get requested in just a few months' time. In the past year,  I've had popular books I posted where there were hundreds already posted, but many of mine were snatched up in just 3-4 months which I couldn't figure out.  Also consider that if someone orders one book from you, they may add one or more of these others  from your shelf to their order, thus skipping the FIFO process altogether.  Just really depends if you have the space to store them where it's not humid for a period of months, then you could decide to donate them if they don't move off your shelf.

The military book donation programs usually only take paperback books since it still costs them to ship to service members overseas, though a military base's library may be glad to accept HC if you are close to a base.

Date Posted: 2/25/2012 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I think it's just up to you whether you want to take the chance and store them or not. I'm pressed for space now so I tend to donate more now.  Or I'll post a few that are heavily posted before I've read them. (I don't recommend this if you frequently keep books, don't have a lot of reading time or with more than a few at a time). 

I used to keep every book until I had to move because I had the space and those more heavily posted books do get requested sometimes.  Especially like Jeanne says with people using the Order More From Member button.  The heavily posted books seem to be the ones that are more likely to time out with no responses when ordered from FIFO. So I think a lot of people wait to order them from a member they are getting another book from already.

I have a much smaller space now and so periodically donate books.  If they stress you out, clutterwise, then donate them somewhere-it won't be harming PBS in anyway.  If you have the space and they don't botter you-list them and see what happens.

Date Posted: 2/25/2012 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2005
Posts: 1,592
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If you are thinking of donating them, please consider a local hospice thrift store. I am a volunteer at my community hospice thrift store and work with books.........always needing more books! All the proceeds go to hospice patients care.

Date Posted: 2/25/2012 7:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
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I don't like keeping hardback books on my bookshelf.  Just too expensive to ship.  I agree with Toni; if you can donate them to a local hospice or somewhere that they'd be appreciated, that would be a great alternative than having them around for many months or years.  I donate my hardback books, unless they are on others people's wish lists (then I will offer them in the Book Bazaar, to someone who wants it and also orders another book from my bookshelf; that way am shipping two books out for 2 credits).

Date Posted: 2/25/2012 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2010
Posts: 23
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Thanks, this is all great advice and gave me some ideas.  Fortunately, the books were all authors my husband was interested in, so he got some good reading out of them.

I'm going to give the book bazaar a shot.  I have been able to ship a few of the less common books, and would love to get a few more credits. Then I'll see if I can find a good charity to donate the books to - ideally some place with a lending library.  There is senior housing I work with that could use their shelves restocked.

Thanks again everyone! 

Date Posted: 2/26/2012 2:17 AM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2009
Posts: 38,082
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You may also want to consider rehab hospitals

Date Posted: 2/27/2012 6:36 AM ET
Member Since: 4/24/2008
Posts: 310
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I donate heavy hardback books to the Friends of the Library. 

Date Posted: 3/4/2012 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2008
Posts: 1,996
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What do you do with books that don't move along, that you aren't intererested in having sit around for years? 

 - I offer deals in the Book Bazaar.  For hardcovers, I would offer a 2-for-1 deal, since they do cost more to mail.

 - If no one from the BB takes the books, I donate them to my local library.  One of the ladies told me that if they don't have a particular book on their shelves, then they will keep it.  Otherwise, my donated books go on a large table for their ongoing FOL sale.  BTW, they LOVE getting book donations.

Date Posted: 3/4/2012 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Senior centers love getting Large Print books.
Subject: update!
Date Posted: 3/5/2012 10:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/3/2010
Posts: 23
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I love that this topic has gotten so many views!  It must be a common issue - and with 5 million books available for swapping, no surprise that some sit around.

Coincidentally, I received an unrelated request for 2 of the hardcovers right after I posted a 2 for 1 deal in the Book Bazaar.  I did send the books out on that deal, but the receiver felt guilty and gave the credit right back :)  And I'm about to ship out another 5 or 6 books!  So, even if another book never moves, I am totally satisfied with the credits I've gotten out of these hardcovers.  And I'm glad to have ideas for donation.  I figured there was kind of a glut on bestselling action/thrillers everywhere, not just PBS ;)