What To Do With Old Books? Best Full Guide 2024

What To Do With Old Books

Many bibliophiles can identify as book hoarders. There are shelves at home that are piled high with books that have been unopened for many years and which no one plans to read again. What to do with old books? Continue reading to learn more about how to use your old books best.

What To Do With Old Books?

Here are some ideas to help you transform your books into new items or pass them along to someone else if you decide to renew your library.

old book

Donate Them To Charity

Donating old books to charity is a gratifying way to dispose of them. Libraries, schools, and non-profits accept book donations. Donating books can aid low-income readers. Additionally, many libraries and schools may sell the books to raise funds for their programs.

Sell Them Online

If you possess a collection of well-maintained books, you might contemplate selling them online. Various online marketplaces exist where you can vend secondhand books, including Amazon, eBay, and AbeBooks. Make sure to check the condition of your books before listing them for sale and provide accurate descriptions to ensure customer satisfaction.

Give Them Away To Friends And Family

Another alternative for disposing of old books is by giving them away to friends and family. You may want to recommend a book you loved or a genre to a friend. Offering your books to those you know can be an excellent approach to share your love of reading and bond with others who have similar interests.

Recycle Them

Selling or donating books in poor condition may not be possible. In this case, consider recycling them. Many cities offer curbside recycling programs that accept paper and cardboard materials, including books.

You may also want to check with your local library or bookstores as some may have recycling programs for books or may be able to provide guidance on responsible disposal options. Additionally, some non-profit organizations may accept books in poor condition to be repurposed or recycled in creative ways.

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Repurpose Them

If you are feeling creative, consider repurposing your old books. There are many DIY projects that use old books, such as creating book art, making bookshelves, or even creating paper crafts. Transforming your books into something new may require some dedication, but it can be a fulfilling and enjoyable way to give a fresh purpose to your old books.

How To Recycle Books

Where to Donate Books

When it comes to recycling old books, there are several steps to follow to ensure proper disposal. To start, you should verify with your local recycling program whether they take old books. In some areas, curbside recycling programs may accept books along with other paper and cardboard materials.

However, check with your local recycling program to make sure books are accepted. Once you have determined that your program accepts books, the next step is to separate hardcovers and softcovers.

Hardcovers usually have a separate spine and cover, whereas softcovers are typically bound with glue. Separating the covers can help ensure that the books are recycled properly.

The third step is to remove any non-paper materials, such as plastic or metal bindings, from the books. These materials can interfere with the recycling process and should be disposed of separately.

Finally, once you have separated the covers and removed any non-paper materials, you can recycle the books. Books can be recycled in your local program.

If your program does not accept books, consider contacting a local book recycling service or nonprofit organization that accepts book donations. By following these simple steps, you can help reduce waste and conserve resources by properly recycling your old books.

See more: Where Can I Donate Books: Best Guide [2022]

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Where Can I Sell Used Books?

Where to Sell Used Books


BookScouter.com is my favorite place to start. This claims they are only for textbook buyback. However, I have had good luck finding the prices of regular trade books. Book Scouter will let you know what websites are currently paying for the book you want to sell. This will help you decide if it is worth selling your book. These websites charge based on how much they believe they can sell books, so books in high demand will sell at a higher price.


This was my last stop. I found a banker’s box with hardcovers in excellent condition. I made $20, which was enough for the cost of some magazine boxes and bookends that I needed to organize my bookshelves.


You have a variety of options when it comes to selling books online via Amazon. Their trade-in program is the first. Your search for the book edition you are interested in and then find the ISBN (the 13-digit code usually found on the back of the book or copyright page).

Next, you can explore selling your books on Amazon. You can check if Amazon is willing to buy your books by answering a few questions about their condition. Once accepted, Amazon will provide a shipping label, and upon receiving your book, they will issue you an Amazon credit as payment.


Powell’s, like Half Price, will allow you to bring books into their shops for appraisal. However, if you aren’t near a physical location, you can sell to them online.


You can enter your ISBNs and answer some questions about your book quality. Then they will provide you with a price quote and a shipping label.


Also, check out local indies to find places where you can sell your used books. Many offer cash back or store credit, and many of them offer cash back. Make sure to call ahead to verify their requirements.

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Should I throw away old books?

Books with moldy pages can’t be recycled. They must be thrown out in the trash to prevent spreading their mold to other books. It is okay to recycle a book if it cannot be used again or given a new life in another way.

Are old books worth any money?

The condition of a book is very important. It will have a significant impact on its value. A book in poor condition and is in danger of falling apart will not be worth much. Book collectors love first editions. A first edition is often more valuable than a later edition. An autographed first edition will be even more valuable.

How do you know if an old book is valuable?

Checking the current market prices for similar books is a great way to find out how much your book is selling. This form will provide you with enough information to receive a list of similar copies. It is not necessary to include every word in the title or the author’s name.

How do you find out what a book is worth?

Check bookfinder.com and abebooks.com to find out how much your books are worth. These sites and eBay allow you to sell your books. The retail price is usually one-third of what dealers pay.


In conclusion, old books can be recycled or repurposed in many ways, allowing them to continue to bring value to the world. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your old books are disposed of properly and in an environmentally-friendly way.

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