Do You Throw Away Old Books

For some reason, I cannot bring myself to throw away old books. Even if the cover is worn, and pages are missing or ripped, I can't do it. Right now, I have a pile of books sitting in a box that I just can't bring myself to get rid of. Do you throw away old books? If not, how do you get rid of them?

[question posted by biwasaki]

responses and comments:



That's the thing about books. As long as they are readable, there's no reason to get rid of them. You still might want to look at them one day! It's probably somewhat easier to sell them or give them away. [Sheepie]
Those websites are the best for trading old, readable books. All you pay for is shipping, which is way less than buying it brand new at a bookstore. [biwasaki]


I don't like throwing anything away so to speak, I either try and sell things on Ebay or if they are not the sort of thing that will sell then I give to op shops as I think someone may get some use out of them, I hate waste and if something I have can make someone happy then thats good. [lilaclady]
I know! I am a huge packrat too. I used to sell things on Ebay, but listing fees are getting higher, so for some items it's not worth it. [biwasaki]



i used to donate all my old books to the library. the libraries around here hold book sales all the time, and if they are in ok condition then they will sell them at the sale. i get a receipt and can write it off on our tax returns. :) a few months ago i found a website that i have been using now, though. it is called paperbackswap.com. you sign up (it's free) and you can list however many books that you have that you would like to get rid of. other members all over the country do the same thing, and it's basically a huge book swap. it lists all the books available for trade in the system, and you receive credits for swapping books. you pay for the shipping to send a book requested from you by another user, and they in turn pay the shipping when you want a book of theirs. it's great because you can save your credits for however long until a book you may want becomes available. you can add books to a wish list and they will contact you when it is available. :) the nice thing is that once you get a book from someone and read it, you do not have to put it back into the system- you can keep it if you want. i have been a member for about 6 months now and i love it. :) just an idea for you! [fatmansmommy]
i used to belong to a packrat club that actually (get this!) fixed them up into new books buy creating their own books out of them like pasting in magazine articles and picslol [bunnybon7]


No..No..No.. and still a big fat NO! lol I don't throw away books, and don't bear to throw them away! i still have textbooks from my primary school kept for over 15 years still with me, and still in very good conditions! Lol.. it could be that I am just so in love with books that I just could not bear to let go of them! Not even the old, weathered ones. Oh well, that is just me! I love to hoard things, even things that I have not touched in years! blush That's the thing about books. They have a sort of 'magic' over their readers, especially to those who just love books! And book lovers will always find themselves with more books with each passing year, and no decrease in the number of books which they have! Pretty soon, when they reached their middle age, they can well open a bookstore with all the books that they have in their possession. =D It's great to find someone who is also a book lover like you! (i'm guessing that you are.. Lol.. correct me if I am wrong, ok?) And I can totally understand why you can't bear to throw away your old books! Well, welcome to the club, I would say. There are many ways to get rid of old books.. some to earn money, some out of goodwill, and some you can change for stuff! In Singapore, we have the following choices: 1) There is the once a month exchange programme here in Singapore whereby we can exchange books and magazines for food items! It's like 4kg of recyclables can entitle you for 1 food coupon or something like that. So, we will drag in all our old books and exchange for food, settling our living expenses for that month! 2) Rental bookstores will take in books that are still in relatively good condition. These books can be sold to them, and they will pay you a reasonably good price for them. 3) Sell them online in platforms such as Ebay! You will find book lovers from around the world who might want to buy those books that you no longer wants, or you can always have a listing for no cost and set up an exchange programme whereby you exchange the book for another title! 4) Here, we have a programme known as book cross. This is where we can drop off books that we no longer wants at selected places and exchange them for other titles that are placed there by other book crossers. It's somesort like a library with no library cards or fines invovled! And you are always ensured of new books to read without having to fork out more money! These are some ways of getting rid of old books, and getting new ones in exchange or cash for them. =) Hope that I have helped! Well, take care and if you always want, you can give them to me for free! Hehe.. I will always welcome books of all genres! (just joking!) lol [angelia286]
Recycling is a great idea...I didn't even think about that. :P I will look into it and see if there is anywhere here that recycles old, unreadable books. Thanks for the suggestion. [biwasaki]



I have trouble GIVING away books, I certainly won't throw them away. I have tons of books here, some read, some not. I can't bring myself to get rid of them and am running out of places to keep them. I started giving away duplicates through bookcrossing.com. In fact I was just thinking about it today because I have old church missals and lector workbooks. Do I throw them in the recycle bin? It just doesn't seem right to pitch religious books, even if they are outdated. [patgalca]

{GASP} Throw away books? Bite your Tongue!!! I have books that date back to the 1800's. I have books that my kids read when they were little. Many of them have pages missing and they're in BAD shape, but I still have one daughter who hasn't started her family yet, so I have to keep them! I will admit that I've been known to donate books, especially paperbacks, to the local library, but throw them away? NO! NEVER! [thebeaddoodler]
I feel the same way! It just doesn't feel right to throw a book away, no matter how poor the condition of it. [biwasaki]


I believe in passing them on. I give them to friends or if they know someone who wants them, I give them to the library. If I kept every book I read, there'd be no room for anthing else. [thelastwolf113]

I would never throw away an old book. Personally I don't get rid of books very often. I enjoy reading them over and over again. However if I find a book that I do not particularly care for, or care to read a second time, I take it to a used book store and sell it. Sometimes, I will place these used books in yard sales and such. YOu never know what someone else might find interesting ot valuable. But, I never throw them away. I always find a good home for a book, or I give it to someone who is interested in reading it. I think no book is garbage, and it shouldn't be treated as such. Seriously, it costs money to make a book, why waste that money, and the tree that created it, just because you do not want it anymore. The book still holds value, and in the right hands, it might change someone's life, or make them realize how worth it reading really is. [CAdreamer]

Never! I love my books and some of them I read again and again. Some of them are falling to pieces with being handled so often. I wish I could bring myself to get rid of them because my bookshelves are severely overloaded. The best thing is to take them to a charity shop I suppose but you can't give the the tatty ones. [Anomalie]

I do not think I have ever thrown out a book unless something spilled on it and ruined it or I got it somewhere and didnt realize until I got home that it had mold or something on it. I could never just throw away a book just because I was done with it. I can't imagine anyone doing that but I'm sure there are people out there who don't care and just toss anything they don't want instead of trying to find someone who would enjoy it instead of cluttering up the landfill. What I do to get rid of books I am done with is either sell them on ebay if they are good selling books or give them to friends or family. If all else fails I offer them on freecycle. If that still didnt work then I would take them to the salvation army. The salvation army is also a great place to get books very low priced! Of course I only buy the ones that are in excellent condition with no writing in them or missing pages! [shaggin]

Absolutely hate throwing away books and if I can help it I dont. There are so many different ways out there that you can dispose of a book without actually chucking it away...the most obvious one being donating it to charity. Charity shops sell on old bric a brac and the proceeds go to charity therefore it's comforting to know someone is using the book after you instead of just binning it and it never getting used again. Another good idea which I have done a couple of times is book swapping. They carry this out in my local hospital, some libraries offer this service and there are websites which enable users to swap books. This not only saves you money because you wont have to buy your next book but it gives you a sense of contentment knowing you didn't bin your book. [Metalchick]

I can't throw them away either. I have stacks and stacks of books, some with the covers half off and pages all frayed. I've had to throw away a few of my husbands "bathtub" books though. He loves reading while soaking in the tub. Sometimes the pages get wet and moldy and the pages fall out all over the bathroom floor. I can't stand that. So they have to go when it gets that bad! [craftcatcher]

I've thrown away plenty of books. If they're not in good enough condition to sell, swap or give to one of the local thrift stores, then they go in the trash. Books are print on paper. There's nothing magical or sacred about them The world is overflowing with useless books that nobody even wants. To me, a completely worn out or out of date book is just one more piece of trash. And believe me, those old text books are also just trash. There's nothing more useless than textbooks that are long out of date. And yes, I'm a book lover. [unusualsuspect]

Books are very important to me. We got a lot of things from it,we learn from it, so we should not throw it away eventhough it is already old. you can still make use of it. [princerenan]

I do not throw away old books for two reasons. One, I cannot afford to do so. Two, I would not want to disappoint my librarian. [PolarEclipse]

No, I never throw books away. Books that I have used before in school are bing passed on to my younger siblings while I donate those old novels that I have read over for so many times. [amira_milka]

I dont know. What i will do is that probably i give to salvation army or give to people who needs them. I dont think i will resort to throwing the books. Giving someone read is better then giving the bin? Or the most you can take it to some book store and sell. [weiwei88]

I have so many books as I love to read but I have so many they can and do over run almost my bedroom and the living room. In the living room my husband built me a bookcase that goes from wall to wall (about 14 foot) from floor to ceiling and it is stacked. Bedroom has a huge cabinet of books yet to be read and I have about 3 boxes in there too! As I read them, I either like the book so much it goes into the living room to join the others in case I want to read it again, and yes this has happened! Others I put on titletrader, others I give away to friends to enjoy. Last but least I take them to the salvation army so others can buy and enjoy. If there are pages missing thou, those I do throw-out. [Ithink]

Its hard for me to throw away books, no matter how battered and torn they are. I about cried when i throw this one away but over half the pages were messing and i could no longer justify keeping it. Looking back i should of recycled it instead of just throwing it in the trash. But usually, if i tire of a book or decide to get ride of it i donate it to others or trade it at the local used bookstore. [pheonixstar1982]

i dont usually throw away old book unless i really dont need them anymore or they are really in bad condition.sometimes the books are of sentimental value to me so icant bear to throw away old book.i like to read books by the way,especially the fantasy genre.my favourite author is david gemmell.they say books are the pathway to knowledge so dont throw away your old books unless you do not really need them anymore. [alankor]

Well, depending on the types of books, like children or adults, you could donate them to charity. If they are children books, you can give them to organization. There are plenty of places such as hospitals and orphanages. So that's just a good thing to do for your community. [jeleen_tintoy05]

I concur!! I could never throw away old books - even if they were in tatters. For some reason, it just seems wrong. If I do happen to have books that I don't want anymore, I give them away to Goodwill or some charity group. [lizard211]

i also do not throw away my old books ,yes ,just as what you said ,there are many old books which have worn cover and missing pages ,but i do not want to throw away them also ,because i have a custom that reading old books ,i feel i can learn more from these old books and can know many reasons which i did not know at my first time . [dpjddh03556462006]

If they have memories attached to them or from someone I love and cherish, then no I won't. I understand not wanting to throw them away, as I know that I couldn't bring myself to either! [SomeCowgirl]

My husband like to collect or keep his old books. So we have a lot of books in the house at this time. I don't read book often, but if I need it, I would just go to the library and bring some books that I need, then bring it back when I am finish. [nyumix]

I just cannot throw them out I give my old books to various nursing homes. [whiteheather39]

i love to keep my thing especially books....i put it in drawer or in the box.... [jelai24]

No I never throw away old books. I have given many away and I signed up for Amazon marketplace sold lots of them there. That way others may get the benefits of them. [derek_a]

i've never thrown away a book before. i've got tons of books at home and i've never thrown any one away. same like you, i just can't bring myself to throw a book away. i keep them no matter how torn and tattered they are. some times i'll take one out and read it all over again. thankfully we shifted to a bigger place last year. now we can have a room to keep all the books. cheers ;p [applefreak]

I am very reluctant to throw away old books, even if I no longer have any use for them. Every so often I have a clear out session - usually a rainy wet Sunday - when I begin to make piles of KEEP - SELL - CHARITY - CHUCK. Unless I have someone disinterested to monitor my progress, the piles grow very slowly indeed because I am always finding something interesting to read! If the books are really too tatty to be of use to anyone else, you might at least consider growing oyster mushrooms! http://www.gourmetmushrooms.co.uk/book_recycler.htm How about getting a few packs of the spawn as Christmas presents? You could even supply two or three old paperbacks with the gift but most people have a few old books or newspapers lying around. Someone told me not to use Stephen King novels to grow them in (I can't imagine why) but Jeffrey Archer and Mills & Boon paperbacks are ideal! [owlwings]
I was given a kit last Christmas. Unfortunately, I never got round to using it. I think I shall have to get it out and try it! I don't know how long it lasts in the box. Maybe I shall be back here in a week or so to post photos! [owlwings]


Hi biwasaki, I agree with you. It is a bit difficult to throw away books, no matter old or torn or unwanted, because we are taught to respect books, which gives us so much information and knowledge and helps us to present ourselves as decent person in society.So we understand the value of books and are emotionally attached to them.happy But we cannot keep such piles of books with us for ever and ever as they will be as good as useless junk which will be finally eaten up by insects. So I think good books should be donated to library or to needy people. And other stuffs can be sold out the factories who use old paper to make new fresh paper. This way we will not feel guilty about giving away the books and something useful will come out of it.. So we can give happy ending to the books and happy smile to our lips.....happyHave a nice day. [apsara60]

I tend to donate those books which I no longer want or need. We have way too many books but I have a difficult time parting with them. The only books that I will throw away/destroy or those that I find to be sinful in content. [Modestah]

I also have the same feeling as you. I can't throw any books, no matter how bad the condition is. I feel throwing a book is like doing a great sin. [Sherlockindo]

No .I never throw away my books.I treasure them and keep them arranged in my book shelf.There is always room in my book shelf for the new ones as the old ones borrowed are never returned.Do you think that this s a way of getting rid of books?lol [balasri]

I'm the same way - I cannot get rid of a book or destroy it unless it's beyond damaged. What I have done is either sell them on eBay, give them away through FreeCycle or taken them to the local used book store for credit for other books. But, a book is almost sacred to me - I can't imagine just throwing one away. I just can't. [jerzgirl]

I'd rather leave them to my friends who want them. [acturpt]

We have a bookshelf down in our apartment garage where I put most of my books that I don't want anymore and others can take them if they want them. I also donate them to the library, and or give them to a thrift store up the road. I even used a site online to swap books too. [maddysmommy]

I love to read and keep many different books that I have read so that I can read them again. Any books that I want to get rid of I place in a bag and donate them to my library. On the last Saturday of every month the friends of the library here, in NC have a book sale where you can purchase paperback books for .25 and hard back books for 1.00. All of the money they earn then goes toward programs that are sponsored by the library here in the county. I hate to throw away books and try to avoid it whenever possible. Believe it or not, books are a luxury for some people. If it weren't for libraries some people would not be able to read all of the wonderful books that are out there. As for a page that may be missing? Shame on you! You are not taking care of your books! LOL! [reallyruby]
That is true, books are a luxury for some people. [biwasaki]


Good day.. As much as I wanted to keep my old books I can't because our house is infested with termites and they love eating my old books and some if not most of the wooden part of the house. So instead of making it a meal for the termites I donate it. [blackmantra_x]

Are we related? I cannot bring myself to toss a book. Even giving them away is difficult for me. Some of the books are really good reads and when you read them again you find things that you have missed. I only buy books from the Goodwill or tag sales. Too frugal to buy them full price! [ElusiveButterfly]

It is impossible for me to throw out any sort of book, be it old or new. I do everything I can to keep my books around me, and when that is no longer possible, I give them away. I often give away certain books to people I think would appreciate a specific book. When I have an avalanche of books that need new homes, I will donate them in bulk to places like jails or small, local libraries. [Transdisc]
I gave a response to this under #43, to AmbiePam. happy [Transdisc]


I was bought up with a Grandfather that had roomfulls of books. Life was never boring, he could bring everything life, even the most boring of subject came alive. I was in awe at all these volumes that contained life and verse and humour. I thank my Grandad for my love of books and giving me the ability to realise their value is much higher than anything played on a screen for you, after all when you read you get to cast the characters and the scenes in your imagination. I know when a book has had its time or it was just a fad read so these I pass to the charity shops for someone else to enjoy. [dragonstar1]

I rarely throw any books away, especially older ones. Most of the time I can find another place for them. I don't have garage sales, although I know a lot of people get rid of them that way. I've donated several to the local Salvation Army stores. I don't know if all of those stores take books, but this one did, and I think it's good. Who says people with less money don't want to read? LOL Our family used to shop there 15 years ago when times were so tight. I'm sure a lot of people would be glad to look through reading material available in those stores. When all else fails, most libraries around here welcome donations. They may sort through them and not take all, but at least it isn't throwing them away if a person feels bad about that possibility. [AmbiePam]
blinkshockedUm maybe jails aren't such a good idea after the images the bear has given. So nonviolent isn't he? I haven't donated ant books to any libraries lately because I can always find a friend or family member always looking through what I have to see what they might want to read next. [razcal2267]


hi biwasaki I am the same way,I have so many old and new books now I am moving, and have to sort them out as I cannot keep 'all of them, this is breaking my heart. But we will sell them, and use the money. I hate throwing away books, as it just goes against everything I believe in. but now I must do it anyway. wah. [Hatley]

I can relate to not wanting to get rid of books.If a book is old but still readable(not missing any pages) I will pass it on. At least this way someone else can enjoy it and lately most have a book to trade, a win for both of us. I have had a few books where they have been read so many times that words are very faded and or pages are missing. With these I have a very hard time just throwing them out so I usually don't. I save them and when I am giving a gift or sending a card I will look through the books for a sentence or paragraph that I think is fitting for the person and/or what they are going through. I then cut it out, paste it on a blank index type card, cut it to size and attach it. [razcal2267]
Finding sentences or paragraphs to attach to cards is a good idea. Thanks for the suggestion. :) [biwasaki]


I never throw away my old books but sell them so that they can be used again.There are people who buy second hand books and periodicals to earn money.Sometimes poor students get use of old books as they cannot afford new course books........ [awapak]

out that's what I do, usually I burn them so they don't go to the dump, of course we live rural so we can burn outside. [savypat]

Nope I don't throw them away since I love books and i spend most of my time reading....and not to mention that i also like rereading my old books that's why i don't throw them away.....i also keep them for references and comparisons....and they bring back memories too hehehehehe [maryann82]

we pass book throughout my family. i am a person who reads ALOT so when i am done with my book i give them to my mom. and so on it goes through the family if they want to read them. if not i donate them to a church or some other place that will use them for people who cannot afford to buy there own books and do not have a way to a library. [gparnell23]

No, i don't do this. i don't even make my books dirty enough tht anyone can say these are the old books wink, i keep my books with me, if i find any person who need it and can not afford to buy it thrn i give my books to that person and tell them to take care of it, and return them to me once they are over wit it. [amit_joamon]

Yes, I'm the same, and so is my husband. Our bookshelves are full and neither of us like to throw away books, even ones that don't interest us any more. There's something about books which you want to keep, they're special in a way that other possessions are not! Plus you never know when you might want to read them (for the first time, or again and again!) We also still sometimes buy more books, new or secondhand, and if this trend continues I'm not sure where they're going to go! We're thinking of replacing the shelves with wider ones, or building them upwards! shocked [liquorice]

My husband and I rarely get rid of books, either. You never know when you'll want to read them again! With textbooks that I don't want anymore, I will sell them back online. Otherwise, I will sometimes donate books to libraries, hospitals, any fitting environment for the genre of the book. Sometimes, it's easy to trade some books with my parents, too. [stylioJ]

I pass books that I'm no longer using on to the local library or to our local thrift shop where they will be sold to provide money for local charities. My son sells his books back to a discount used book store. [bellis716]

No, I do not throw any of my collection books in which I always keep it with me in the library book in the house and most of the time I always let a friend of mine borrowed a book of mine.......... [iyah10]

Yep, unless there's a VERY compelling reason to keep them, into the recycling bin go all books once I've read them. I tend to keep a tidy home and I'd find that keeping books just for the sake of having them isn't good enough reason for me. At least recycling goes some distance in helping to save a tree. Memo to self: Who are you kidding RJ? Just admit that you can't read and you've already colored all the pictures. (C) 2008 RJScott [rjscott]
Nah, I can't be bothered with the costs. [rjscott]


same here!!! i like to collect books especially those history books and stories that i liked..i had some books and been piled up on my shelf..same goes with magazines and any reading materials that i consider useful in the near future and of great help especially on research on my children on their studies... [vanities]

well, i won't throw away my old books... i like to read, and i like to keep the book that i really like so i can read it again and again... so i will just keep all the books... well, i hv a few cupboard and box to keep my books... cause i really have a lots of books...rasp [candysky]

Me too, I can't seem to throw away my old books and some magazines, I always feel somehow that they may still have some kowledge that might be usefull for me or to someone I know. I try to cover them and stack they properly ina box and put them away. [joy4you]

I don't think I have ever actually thrown a book away. I have some that I have read so many times the pages are falling out. I have a couple that I had to put in a ziplock to keep all the pieces together...like you I just can't throw an old friend away. -FROM THE ASHES- [Phoenix08]

Hello biwasaki, I don't throw my old books. I usually sold them to a second hand book store for a few pesos. Somebody might still have used of my old books. Even if you throw them, I think the garbage collector or whatever group that takes care of the garbage can still salvage your book and make used of them. Another, I do is give them to relatives who need the book or donate them to libraries. As long as you don't burn the books someone who found it will still have a used to it. So if throw them out, somebody out there will make use of it. Regards. ninjaninjaninja [robert19ph]

That's reasonable. However, I like to give books a second life by giving them to the Library. (If I'm not going to read them again.) [DaddyOfTheRose]

No, I cant throw away old books either. Im a "book rescuer" also, so to speak. Whenever a friend or someone I know doesnt want a book anymore and is planning to throw it out and to give it away, Im always the first one to respond. Of course, when he/she plans to give it to a charity of some sort then by all means, but when he/she is looking for someone to carry the 'burden' of taking care of another book, then Im there. I also dont mind if the pages are damaged or stained or yellowed, I just dont mind them as long as the story is still intact and the reader can judge for himself/herself on what happened on those particularly ripped/torn/missing pages.LOL!lol [bjcyrix]

I can't bring myself to throw away old books. It's almost like against my religion or something. I just keep them. I'm a packrat. Or I give a few away every now and then. [thinksf]

I really dislike throwing away books. I collected so many books that eventually I had to start getting rid of some of them. Luckily I found an organization that will accept donations of used books and resell them to benefit varies causes. I can now feel happier about getting rid of books. [bostonterrio]

No, I don't throw old books away. I usually just give them away to family and friends that I know will read them. I have sold some on ebay before too. I also have some here that I'm thinking of taking to the library and giving them. [sweetgirl_k1]

I still have my books that I had when I was a kid, except for kiddie books. I gave all my kiddie books away to a neighbors daughter that liked reading them. I have my first Gone With The Wind book and it's all ragged, I won't get rid of it nor any of my books. Never know when I want to pick it up again to read. Even better what if my kids wants to read them, now I wish I never got rid of my kiddie books. If I were you, I wouldn't get rid of them, never know when they will be needed, even in bad shape. Except for missing pages, then those should be thrown away. [chertsy]

HI there..:-0 Well I love books and I don't throw old books away because I know sooner or later I can use them and throwing old books is just like your throwing new knowledge that you need to learn..Even if it is old or new as long that it is usable and informative,there is no way that I will have the chance to throw it..:-0 GOd bless and have a nice day..:-0 [insulin]