What Do You Do With Books After You’ve Read Them?

It is quite seldom that I read a book more than once (The Time Traveler’s Wife is a notorious exception, I have read it 3 times), so once I finish with a book, I just put it back on the shelf.

With more and more books that I bought or traded (at Bookmooch or swapped with friends), my bookshelves are literally overflowing. Now as much as I love books and I love to be surrounded by books, my home starts to look more like a warehouse than a real home. This is why I decided to finally (and painfully) let go of most of the older ones that will never be re-read anyway.

We have a church nearby called St. Paul’s church, with a small area dedicated to used books – a sort of charity bookshop. People bring their old books to them, and they sell to folks to want to read something new for very cheap – as in 1-2 euros instead of 5 and more. And this is where my latest batch of books (around 50 books in these two shopping bags below) is going for donation in just a few short hours.

books for donation
books for donation to the local church charity bookshop

While I’m sorry to see them go, I do want to reclaim the space in my home and I also realize that there are people who cannot afford to buy full price books, so they will be happy to get them for cheaper than at the store.

So what do you do with books after you’ve read them?


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  1. I give my books to a charity if I am not going to read them again. The charity holds a book sale annually. If I did not have that option, I would give to a thrift store or a resale store so that someone could benefit. I do give some books to a co-worker who likes mysteries.

  2. Because I have moved so much from country to country I have had to say goodbye to many books. However there are some precious ones which I hold on to and do actually read again and again 🙂

  3. I have a selection of books that have moved around with me that get rearranged periodically on my bookshelf. Even though I rarely read a book more than once, there are some that I want to keep regardless. The others go to charity shops although after my purge in early September I still have one huge bag in the boot of my car to deliver. When I had little money I was always thrilled to find great second-hand books (particularly if they had been well cared for) and hope each of my books finds a loving home 🙂

  4. I have been looking for a place to donate some of my books for a while, I wish I could find one. I will not just throw them away. Lucky you for finding a place. I love to donate stuff, I always feels so good that old things no longer wanted by me will have new life with someone who wants and needs them. 🙂

  5. There are few modern books I keep simply because I know I won’t desire to read them again. I have recently read dozens of science fiction books I bought when I was in my 20s and thoroughly enjoyed them. I will get rid of a few (at car boot sales or give to charity shops) but keep the rest. I did reach a stage in our old house where we had filled all possible space for shelves, but have slimmed down my collection. Many books become ‘friends’ and I would not think of being without them.

  6. Whwn I moved I had no choice but to let hundreds of books go to new homes. Some were given to our local used stuff shope which benefits the community facility and the rest were donated to the main library to be sold at their yearly sale. I felt good about both of these places.

  7. It must be so hard to let go of books. They’re so expensive to buy new. I’m sure someone will be thrilled to pick them up at a cheaper price. I usually give my books to a pre-loved clothing store. Many of them have sections for books as well. The thing is–you can’t keep everything you’ve ever bought. So the best thing is to recycle them.

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