Author Topic: Downsizing Home Library  (Read 4517 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Downsizing Home Library
« on: October 31, 2016, 11:45:21 AM »
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 10:14:52 AM by panda »


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1511
Re: Downsizing Home Library
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2016, 11:51:38 AM »
In my city there is a trade group called MTL trade hole (formerly named bunz). Great place to trade things you don't need anymore and get something useful in return. Maybe your area has something similar?


  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 21091
  • Age: 65
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Downsizing Home Library
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2016, 01:20:01 PM »
Does your library have a Friends group? Ours collects books, sells them and uses the proceeds to pay for programs, materials and services at  the library. The donor gets a tax receipt. If you itemize, this could the best value for your time.
Funny, today is my day to sort. Gotta run.


  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 250
  • Location: Not in a tropical, underpopulated location. And that's just wrong.
  • What Would MacGyver Do?
Re: Downsizing Home Library
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2016, 03:22:23 PM »
I donated almost every book I had to the library -- it's tax deductible and when I get around to reading it, I can go back to the library and borrow it until I'm *actually* finished reading it.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 19
Re: Downsizing Home Library
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2016, 03:37:59 PM »
Have you heard of It's an online book trading website where you mail books to other users and get credits to request books for yourself (in your situation you can hang onto the credits until after grad school or use them to get presents or something). I feel like the selection has declined significantly since they started imposing a fee for requests, but it's worth checking out.

It's generally kind of hard to make money off used books. There are so many on the market and books are specific enough that it's hard for one individual to locate another individual who wants a book they have.


  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2731
Re: Downsizing Home Library
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2016, 04:41:50 PM »
Advertise to junior graduate students in your program. When I was a grad student, I bought two bags of books from a recent grad in my program. I was excited to get the books because they were about my interests, and he got a better price than he would have selling them somewhere random.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: Downsizing Home Library
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2016, 06:50:07 PM »
I don't know if you live anywhere near Portland, OR, but Powell's buys used books! Looks like they do so online as well - you can enter the ISBN and get an immediate offer. Could be a good way to see if any of your remaining books would be worth something.

Or, consider leaving some of your books in a "Little Free Library" - we have these throughout Portland and they are really cute. They have a map to search for them near your location. Looks like you could even create your own if you wanted:

Edit: For some reason, searching the map by zip code doesn't bring anything up, but searching by city or country and then zooming in does :)
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 06:52:02 PM by Tay_CPA »


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2249
  • Age: 1822
  • Location: CO
Re: Downsizing Home Library
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2016, 07:00:39 PM »
You can also use It's just like, but NO FEES!


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1571
  • Location: High COL
Re: Downsizing Home Library
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2016, 07:37:07 PM »
Assuming you a busy w/ other things - I recommend donating the books to the library or some similar place.

I say this having been a book saver/haver/hoarder for most of my life. Starting very young and progressing to having 6 ceiling high double stacked bookshelves in the basement until recently. (Members of my family are even worse w/ their book hoarding). It is huge undertaking to try to sort through them, value them, list them online, etc. That is in addition to the decision to keep or not keep each individual book. Trading and swapping keeps your book population at stable levels - and I assume your goal is to actually reduce the number of books you have.

In a fit of Kondo Mar-ing myself last year I made the move to get rid of about 75+% of the books in one fell swoop. Anything that I could get online or from the library - to include repurchasing if needed - OUT. Anything I said I would reread one day but hadn't - OUT. Old professional texts - OUT. Really gutted it down to books that I have strong sentimental attachment to - e.g. a copy of The Little Prince that my grandfather gave me and made a note in the book to me - KEPT. It took part of one afternoon to clear out the books and what a relief.


  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 594
Re: Downsizing Home Library
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2016, 07:45:14 AM »
Not a useful example, but I organize the books I keep like this (and I keep way too many).  Educational books not matter how old, but generally only 1 say algebra book among other books.  In the UNLIKELY scenario that the internet collapses and we have no ability to access the joint knowledge of humanity, I would like the ability to reference things that I have learned but will almost never retain.

Then I keep anything published in the 1800s, and then I hold onto different editions of classics. So like 4 copies of Hamlet that differ because didn't people published them.

Pulp books though are probably a read once and get rid of idea.


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2185
Re: Downsizing Home Library
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2016, 07:59:30 AM »
As someone with a huge library of almost all non-fiction books, here is what I do. I have a garage sale advertised as mostly non-fiction books. I do this because there are tons of people around town that read non-fiction books but they are hard to find at most garage sales where most books are pulp fiction. I usually do a half day sale on a Saturday morning in the spring when I weed out my library of books I don't want to keep anymore. Because I advertise it as non-fiction books, I get a LOT of people there usually first thing trying to get the best of the books before they are gone. I usually will sell about 3/4ths of the books and the rest I give to someone with one of those libraries on a post out by the street and they put them in when needed.

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3834
  • Age: 85
  • Location: The oubliette.
  • Ghouls Just Wanna Have Funds!
Re: Downsizing Home Library
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2016, 08:08:03 AM »
In my state, there's a book chain that bought about 60% of my collection when we culled it down. Not for large amounts of money or anything, but we were happy with what we got.

I have heard of apps you can scan your books for to see if you can sell them online, but seems like lots of trouble. Agree with a few of the methods others have mentioned. But if you have a larger collection of books that will take you a while to go through individually, you'll need to decide if the time waste is going to be worth it to you. For us, it wasn't.

I love books. I have an entire room in my house with floor to ceiling book shelves. My husband is the same way - he worked in the library of his college for goodness sake!

The rest we donated to our neighborhood library as they organize monthly book sales and it would be the best way to help them out and help ourselves out as well. The hassle of trying to ebay or otherwise try to sell off books that a retailer didn't want seems like a lesson in time wasting.

So if they are books you sort of kind of don't want, find a reseller in your area and take them all in. Any they don't take, figure there's very little market for them and donate them someplace that might make a few bucks off them for charity.


  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 546
Re: Downsizing Home Library
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2016, 01:29:46 PM »
I know how you feel. I still have a good amount of books, and what is left is probably about 1/3-1/4 of what it used to be.

I've done a variety of things:

- Sell the books that are worth something on eBay/Amazon
- Trade-in books to Amazon
- Donate books to a library
- Donate books to Goodwill/Salvation Army

If you have any textbooks, especially ones that are more current, they might actually be worth something on the used market. Make sure to check on those. Also make sure to check on any books that are 1st editions, are really old and/or rare, or autographed.


  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 774
Re: Downsizing Home Library
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2016, 03:56:17 PM »
You'd have to wait until mid December (they're not allowing any new accounts until after the holiday rush), but see if you can sell any of them through Amazon FBA. Hard cover non-fiction tends to do decently well. When I moved, I sent in a box of books, which consisted of a lot of non-fiction (hard cover and soft) books I used as college text books. Check out the Amazon FBA Revenue Calculator. Just type in a few ISBN numbers and see if they're profitable. If you go with FBA, you ship them to Amazon, and they handle the rest (and send you money when they sell).


  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 158
Re: Downsizing Home Library
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2016, 08:33:33 PM »
In addition to some of the suggestions above, you can look into donating to lesser thought about places - such as prisons, hospitals (especially paperbacks - volunteer services often gives away books to patients), and shelters.