Check If Your Local Library Will Take Book Donations

Check If Your Local Library Will Take Book Donations

Clearing out bookshelves of tomes you no longer want or need? Don’t forget to check if your local library could use them.

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I’ve been on a bit of decluttering splurge of late. The weekend before last, it was the turn of my bookshelves to face the knife, and when I was done, a pile of around 200 books lay on the floor having been declared clutter.

Which is both emotionally draining and satisfying as an activity, but it left me with a problem. 200 problems to be more precise, because having decided to cull those particular titles, I had to decide what to do with them.

Being primarily paper they would recycle reasonably well, but that feels like a waste. There were too many to try to list/sell via Gumtree or similar, and second-hand bookstores are becoming something of a rarity around my area, although I did check with the one remaining store, which was only interested in trading books. That wasn’t of interest, as by clearing the 200-odd pile, I’d actually managed to get my bookshelves back to “mostly manageable” from “cluttered pile” status.

Many charity organisations will take books as donations, but it’s worthwhile checking if their values accord with your own, or indeed (depending on the collection setup) whether a significant enough portion of their sale proceeds will make it to charity in the first place.

So I called up my local library to see if they’d accept them, and discovered they would, even in that kind of quantity. They were quite upfront about what they’d do with them, noting that they may use some as shelf stock, but equally that some may end up straight in the sale/discard piles to generate small scale income for the library itself.

I’m fine with that, because I do think libraries are wonderful places, and I’m happy thinking that they’ll either help the library buy more new books or provide new services, or be read again as a direct library shelf book.