- Organizing & Decluttering
How to Recycle Books
That Was a Question, By the Way
Oh... sorry. Did you think I was offering a solution? No, the title is actually a plea for help. How do I stop hoarding books? The scale of the problem is increasing weekly, nay, almost daily. Our books appear to be breeding. Do you see all the photos on this page? Well, they are all taken in our house and the books are getting out of control. Please tell me that I am not the only one suffering from a literary tsunami. Make me feel better by telling me your books take up more room than your furniture. Give me your support as you explain that you also have trouble with books marching up the staircase.
Well, I have made a decision. Our book collection must be reduced by half. We need the space and I am fed up with the dust-attracting tomes in every corner. So, I am putting together a sort of reference as to how to go about my library annihilation.
If you have any suggestions, please add them in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Step One. Stop buying books. Buy their digital equivalent. After all, both hubby and I have Kindle apps on our tablets, so it would make sense to only buy books that are available in digital editions. Oh... hang on a moment. I just checked my eBooks folder on my external hard drive – 1,747 books. Drat. I really don't have space on my computer for any more.
In the past I have set books free on our Freecycle equivalent, Freegle. In fact, we started a really good system where we put together a few boxes of unwanted books and offered them on the local group, which I run, by the way. Our stipulation was that the person who took them removed the books that they wanted and added in their own unwanteds and then sent the boxes off to another group member. This worked pretty well until it kind of ground to a halt – right back at our house. And there were more books than there had been at the beginning. And they are all here.
I might try again, but like cats, I am unable to resist re-homing books. They need me.
Okay, so we have a few local charity/thrift shops. They always need books, don't they? Well, yes, but they didn't want all ours. Too many they said. Take them to the recycling depot, they told us. What? Send them to be pulped? Or burned or whatever else they do to them? Unthinkable. In the meantime I am restricted to taking the odd shopping bag of books and subjecting myself to the glare of the volunteer elderly ladies at the charity shops, who really dislike sorting through the books. Too much bending, you see.
The other problem I have with taking books to charity shops is that I usually get my hubby to do it. He's big and strong and can heft those bags of books out of the house, into the car, in to the store and then come home with my empty bags. Yeah right. Those babies come back home just as full as they went out, but with different books. Ones that he has paid for. My husband rarely drinks, has never done drugs, doesn't smoke but, oh boy, he does have a dreadful book addiction!
I quite like this idea. Have you seen those great designs of furniture made from books. They look wonderful. Desks, chairs, room dividers and even Christmas trees, all built from books. Fantastic. Except for one teeny little drawback. What happens when you want to read a book that's looking very enticing right in the middle of one of the supports belonging to your snazzy book-desk? Huh? How does it work? Do you have to dismantle the whole lot? Do you leave the book there and feel enormous frustration that you can't get hold of it?
Oh.. just wait, I know... you go and buy another copy!