How to Dispose of Old Books: Your Guide to Disposing of Old Books

April 14, 2021

Many of us keep books and find ourselves collecting an abundance of paper backs over the years, which can be both physically and emotionally (depending on how attached you are to your books) difficult to dispose of.

Books are not only difficult to dispose of, but can also take up an overwhelming amount of space. Many people are hesitant to dispose of their books not only because they do not want to see them go to waste, but also because they’re not really sure of the best way to empty out their bookcases. We also tend to keep many books with the idea that we will get around to reading them, but more often than not they sit there on the bookshelf that is growing increasingly cluttered and collecting dust. To help our bookworms deal with this problem, we have develop an easy and informative guide on how to dispose of old books.

How to Dispose of Your Book Collection

Ridly are Sydney’s leading experts when it comes to rubbish removal and household waste collection. We can take away your old book collection, leaving you with a clean space and the knowledge that we’ll make sure your books are disposed of as responsibly as possible.

Other than calling in the rubbish removal experts at Ridly, here are some other ways to dispose of your old book collections:

Donate to Your Local Library

Many libraries, especially local libraries are full of donated books. Donated books allow libraries to expand their selection without having to spend money on new books. If you have a large amount of unwanted or old books this can be a great way to get rid of them as most libraries can accommodate large donations. Not sure how to dispose of old books at the library? Simply head into the library or call up over the phone to arrange your drop off.

Send Them to Your Children’s School

Disposing of old books at your local school can be a great way to encourage young readers, as well as get rid of old collections. Many people find themselves with a large quantity of children’s books and are not sure what to do with them after their kids have grown up and moved on. By donating to your local school, you are not only positively contributing to your local community but providing a significant number of children with access to a wide selection of books to pique their interest.

When donating to schools it is important that you are disposing of old books that are in good condition and appropriate for younger readers. Additionally, consult with the school or librarian to arrange your drop off and make sure they can receive the books you are getting rid of.

Donate to Charity

If you are wondering where to donate second-hand books charities are always more than welcome to receive donations. If your books are still in good condition and could benefit someone else, donating them to charity is a great way to ensure someone less fortunate has access to a good selection of book. Charities rely significantly on donations and will ensure your books are put to good use. This is also a great way to help those in need and your donation will always be appreciated.

Trade Them for Something Else

Knowing how to dispose of old books could also mean having fun trading them. Particular books are highly valuable to collectors and avid readers - you could potentially trade your books or other items at marketplaces or online. There are many book swap or trading websites where users can connect online. You could use your unwanted book collection to trade them for other items your desire.

Start a Street Library

If you are someone who still wants to read new books whilst getting rid of your unwanted books, a street library may be a great solution. In terms of how to dispose of old books this is a feel good and community engaging way to get rid of your old books. What is a street library, you ask?

A street library is small shelf or box that you place at the front of your yard or property so other people can easily access it. The general principles of street libraries are that when you take a book, you also give a book. If you are wondering how to get of used books, this is a great way for local communities to share and swap books; there are even communities and websites online which track street libraries all around Australia.

If you wish for people to simply take your books without swapping them all you need to do is put a sign up and you will slowly see them disappear. This is probably the most passive way to dispose of your old books as you are getting other people to take them for you. Just be sure that your street library is neat and tidy!

Sell the Books and Make Some Money

Online marketplaces and smartphones make it so easy should you wish to sell your books. It is quick, easy and free to put up ads on many places on the internet and advertise your books for sale. If you have a particularly extensive collection of books, or certain books that are quite valuable you may be able to make yourself a tidy sum of money. Just make sure when you are selling online you are being fair and honest and establish clear agreements between you and the buyer to arrange delivery.

List Them at an Auction House

Sometimes it’s not about knowing how to dispose of old books but finding the best place to sell them. If you have particularly rare or complete collections of books that could be very valuable you could also consider selling them at an auction house. Auctions houses deal with many vintage and second hand items that attracts buyers. Although the auction house will take a commission of your sale it could be a particularly useful way to get rid of a valuable collection of books.

How to Get Rid of Old Books and Magazines

Magazines and old books with illustrations and artworks can be used as material for a fun arts and craft exercise. Instead of throwing them out into the bin, you can use them for creating collages. This is especially great for people with children looking for a fun activity to run.  Even better if you are a teacher or know someone who is looking to run this activity in their classroom you can part ways with a lot of old books and magazine by getting the whole class involved.

Get Creative

Knowing how to dispose of old books doesn’t always mean throwing them out or giving them away, sometimes all that is required is a little creativity. A quick google search would reveal an enormous amount of DIY, art and craft projects for all ages and applications. Here are just a few.

Fake Bookshelf Storage Project

If you really like the aesthetic of books lined up on your shelves but need the storage space for other items, there are many projects which allow you to cut your books up and decorate storage boxes with the spines of the book. This would give the appearance of books lined up on the shelf but the utility of storage space behind them.

Run Arts and Craft Exercises

Make an Artwork

If you want to express your inner artist, illustration and painting over old book covers and pages can be a really fun exercise. This technique results in fun works of art with interesting backgrounds, and if you mess up a page you have plenty of spare ones to fill.

Word Jumble Activity

Want to know how to dispose of old books? Cut them up for a fun exercise. Some professionals use this a creative practice, songwriters use it to develop lyrics and children have a great time learning new phrases and words. Simply cut up individual, lines, phrases or words in a book and mix them all up then pick our individual pieces together to form your own story or phrase. You would be surprised how fun these random combinations can be.

How to Avoid a Large Unwanted Collection

Another great way to manage your unwanted book collection is to not let it get too large in the first place. Many of us hold onto books for a long time without reading them and only get the motivation to get rid of them when we have cluttered shelves and it feels all too much.  Some books can be sentimental, some are the latest publication of our favourite author and some simply sit there collecting dust.

Keep a Small Shelf or Library

A great tip to stay on top of your mountain of books is dedicate a small shelf or little library space for them and only keep the most important books that fit in that space. By disposing of books in small consistent increments it will feel a lot more manageable. Sending a small number of books to your local charity every now and then or managing them through a street library are great ways to stay on top of your growing pile of books.

Disposing of Old Books With Professional Help

We’ve now run through a number of ways to demonstrate how to dispose of old books; however, we also understand that sometimes it can be all too hard or daunting to do this and sometimes professional help if required. If you are not sure what to do with old books, Sydney rubbish removal companies such as Ridly know exactly how to get rid of used books and will ensure your books are responsibly recycled, reused and repurposed. All you need to do is find us online or give us a call and we will take care of your waste!

Ready to be rid of it? Grab a quick quote from our team.

Call us on 0488 846 336.

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