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Best way to find new homes for old books?

Old 09-07-14, 08:42 AM
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Best way to find new homes for old books?

I am selling my mother's house and need to find homes for tons of books, old and very old. They are not in good enough shape for used-book dealers and rare book shops (I've already tried a few in New York), and many are headed for the junk heap, but my brother (who lives there) thinks that some are in good enough shape to sell to collectors out there with interests in very specific subjects. And we have some of those subjects (art history, poetry, military history, labor history, old encyclopedias, etc.). Old literature, too, including a set of Poe in red cloth from 1902. How does one locate and identify such collectors and let them know what we have? Anyone here ever do anything like this?

Thanks.
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Old 09-07-14, 06:16 PM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Register them at bookcrossing.com, put the BCID (book crossing ID) in the book, put a note on the front of the book that says "Free Book - Read Me..." and leave one of them here and there - on the train today, in the taxi tomorrow, at the coffee shop the next day and so on and see what happens. Then later on you can check on bookcrossing.com and see where they have been and how many people have picked them up.

I'm not an expert on how to do all of this, but a friend of mine does it and really enjoys it.
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Old 09-08-14, 02:22 PM
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I have a whole bunch of old strategy guides. Can't GIVE those away.
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Old 09-08-14, 08:49 PM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Originally Posted by hanshotfirst1138 View Post
I have a whole bunch of old strategy guides. Can't GIVE those away.
Ugh. You just reminded me that I have at least two boxes of these in storage.
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Old 09-09-14, 12:32 AM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
I am selling my mother's house and need to find homes for tons of books, old and very old. They are not in good enough shape for used-book dealers and rare book shops (I've already tried a few in New York), and many are headed for the junk heap, but my brother (who lives there) thinks that some are in good enough shape to sell to collectors out there with interests in very specific subjects. And we have some of those subjects (art history, poetry, military history, labor history, old encyclopedias, etc.). Old literature, too, including a set of Poe in red cloth from 1902. How does one locate and identify such collectors and let them know what we have? Anyone here ever do anything like this?

Thanks.
I collect vintage paperbacks of popular titles that are in decent shape. You can click the link below to get an idea of what I collect. If you have anything I'd be interested in, shoot me a PM and we can work something out.
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Old 09-09-14, 02:59 PM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Originally Posted by TimeandTide View Post
I collect vintage paperbacks of popular titles that are in decent shape. You can click the link below to get an idea of what I collect. If you have anything I'd be interested in, shoot me a PM and we can work something out.
Not much in the way of vintage paperbacks in decent shape in my mother's house, but I actually have quite a good collection of old paperbacks myself, including lots of movie tie-in editions, and I've been meaning to weed out my collection so I just may get in touch with you once this whole other thing's been dealt with.

Thanks.
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Old 09-09-14, 09:42 PM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Every city should run a large exchange depot where one can bring any usable item (furniture, appliances, bicycles, books, clothes, etc.) for others to take for free. One could drop something off and take something else. It's better to see things reused by others than end up in a landfill.
Of course, you end up attracting the usual assholes who think it's a good place to bring their bagged kitchen garbage.
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Old 09-11-14, 06:11 AM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Originally Posted by hanshotfirst1138 View Post
I have a whole bunch of old strategy guides. Can't GIVE those away.
This may sound very strange.

Over most of the 2000's decade, I found that reading video game strategy guides was more entertaining than playing the actual games themselves. At the time, I went scouring through thrift shops and picked up the strategy guides of games like: Diablo, Warcraft, Everquest, World of Warcraft, Grand Theft Auto, etc ...


I more or less lost interest in video games back in the late-1980's, other than for a brief time period in the early-2000's when I was obsessively playing the pc versions of Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City. I lost interest with GTA San Andreas and GTA4. (At the time, I foolishly made a decision to buy an Xbox360 to play GTA4, after reading many reviews of the pc version of GTA4 being a complete half-assed botch job. In the end, GTA4 seemed to be rather lackluster).

Last edited by morriscroy; 09-11-14 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 09-11-14, 06:40 AM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
Originally Posted by hanshotfirst1138 View Post
I have a whole bunch of old strategy guides. Can't GIVE those away.
Ugh. You just reminded me that I have at least two boxes of these in storage.
Even worse would be technical books and/or college level textbooks.

Over the years I've noticed most used bookstores will not take any computer books, nor any highly technical books in general.

I have a large collection of old textbooks on topics like engineering, chemistry, physics, abstract math, computer science, etc ... mostly from the 1970's and 1980's (and a few from the 1990's). Most used bookstores will not accept any textbooks that are not current editions (ie. within 2 or 3 years or so).

Though what's ironic is that for more recent editions of various textbooks, many seem to be rather watered down and lackluster in comparison to the older editions from the 70's and 80's. (ie. A gradual "dumbing down" over the decades).
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Old 09-11-14, 09:12 AM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Church rummage sales? Goodwill?
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Old 09-11-14, 05:07 PM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Slightly off-topic, but I had a grandmother who had a ton of old books she left behind when she died in the 1990s. I was pretty excited to get them, until I realized that grandma was a smoker, and the pages just reeked of cigarette smoke. We decided just to ditch them all.

It's a shame, because she had tons of books on the Kennedys, and being a history major, I would have loved to have had them.

Is the OP looking to sale the books, because I'm sure a library would be happy to take them if you'd like to donate.
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Old 09-11-14, 09:04 PM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
Not much in the way of vintage paperbacks in decent shape in my mother's house, but I actually have quite a good collection of old paperbacks myself, including lots of movie tie-in editions, and I've been meaning to weed out my collection so I just may get in touch with you once this whole other thing's been dealt with.

Thanks.
Sounds good!
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Old 09-12-14, 10:03 AM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt View Post

Is the OP looking to sale the books, because I'm sure a library would be happy to take them if you'd like to donate.
I called up libraries in New York and they don't take donations of books anymore. They're trying to get rid of books!
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Old 09-13-14, 01:12 AM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Take them to the half price book store closest to you. You might be surprised what you get. Or post some of them here, maybe you'll get a paypal offer?

Last edited by danfindlay; 09-13-14 at 01:13 AM. Reason: serh
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Old 09-17-14, 05:19 PM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
I am selling my mother's house and need to find homes for tons of books, old and very old. They are not in good enough shape for used-book dealers and rare book shops (I've already tried a few in New York), and many are headed for the junk heap, but my brother (who lives there) thinks that some are in good enough shape to sell to collectors out there with interests in very specific subjects. And we have some of those subjects (art history, poetry, military history, labor history, old encyclopedias, etc.). Old literature, too, including a set of Poe in red cloth from 1902. How does one locate and identify such collectors and let them know what we have? Anyone here ever do anything like this?

Thanks.
Used book dealers are in the business of selling books to collectors out there. That's what they do. Their professional opinion is that your mother's books will be of no interest to them.

During the Landlord is on my Case thread, I pulled a couple boxes of books from the shelves. The used price on Amazon marketplace for a lot of them is $0.01. People just don't want books anymore.

We got $90 for the Encyclopedia Britannica. But other than a dozen books that might have resale value, everything else went to Goodwill.

(Edit: When talking about books, nothing from the 20th century qualifies as old. And everyone who wants one already has a copy of Poe.)
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Old 11-25-14, 03:05 AM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

You could try out the International Book Donations Program website, it lists institutions and organizations which have no other way of acquiring reading and educational materials. Most thrift stores also have book departments and would be happy to take those which are in a relatively good condition. If nothing works out, try donating your books to a church. I did it once.
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Old 11-25-14, 04:46 AM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
During the Landlord is on my Case thread, I pulled a couple boxes of books from the shelves. The used price on Amazon marketplace for a lot of them is $0.01. People just don't want books anymore.
We are, as a society, drowning in books. Dozens of books are published every week that add to our collective library. Most of this stuff is shit that will be forgotten in a month or two. Look at all of those "Bill Clinton is an asshole" and "George W. Bush is an asshole" books that were published. Are those still cherished in someone's library, picked up and re-read? Autobiographies of minor celebrities? Countless romance and detective novels?

It sort of fascinates me. We ostensibly value 'books' but most of them are just tripe... Celebrity nonsense, current events and politics that might as well be expanded newspaper editorials, novels with covers that look as interesting as watching paint dry... I walk into a Barnes & Noble and wonder if anyone is actually buying this stuff that greets me on the front table as I walk in.

And the old books mentioned by the OP, I just don't see much interest in old books. Even if there is someone out there who wanted a particular volume, it would be a herculean task to find that person and get the book in their hands.
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Old 11-26-14, 04:37 PM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
Are those still cherished in someone's library, picked up and re-read? Autobiographies of minor celebrities?
I still have several autobiography/biography books like this. Mostly about some mathematicians or physicists who were "giants" in math/physics.

But in the overall popularity contest, such individuals who would be considered "nobodies".
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Old 01-19-15, 08:21 PM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

I find that most books have no value. Especially if they aren't in great shape.

The very few that do, I tend to sell on Amazon - in fact - Amazon is a great arbiter of what is of value - if there are a bunch at a penny - donate it (if you can find someone to donate it to - Goodwill often works).

If it has some value, THEN check the "sales rank" - if it is 1 million or higher, you will need to be very patient, or expect it will never sell - the prices are just hopeful vs. realistic.

Otherwise, you can get a sale for a real price - especially from September to December.

As to COLLECTOR'S editions (I had two 1st edition/4th printing of Dune for example - sold one, still have one), that's another subject.
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Old 01-20-15, 09:43 AM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
I called up libraries in New York and they don't take donations of books anymore. They're trying to get rid of books!
Do you have any "free libraries" in neighborhoods around you? I love the idea of those "give a book, take a book" kiosks. You could get rid of some books that won't get you any money there.

http://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/

Just drop a bunch of them off there under cover of night.
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Old 01-20-15, 11:53 AM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
Old literature, too, including a set of Poe in red cloth from 1902.
This one?

http://www.biblio.com/book/complete-...10/d/260193356



As others have said, books are a tough sell these days. At least for any price that makes it worth it to you. If the libraries don't want them, Goodwill or some other thrift store might. Toss them up on Craigslist.
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Old 01-22-15, 11:02 PM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

I have multiple used media/bookstores around me so I usually trade them in there and anything they don't take I drop off at goodwill.
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Old 01-23-15, 10:11 AM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Originally Posted by danwiz View Post
Register them at bookcrossing.com, put the BCID (book crossing ID) in the book, put a note on the front of the book that says "Free Book - Read Me..." and leave one of them here and there - on the train today, in the taxi tomorrow, at the coffee shop the next day and so on and see what happens. Then later on you can check on bookcrossing.com and see where they have been and how many people have picked them up.

I'm not an expert on how to do all of this, but a friend of mine does it and really enjoys it.
Ok that is awesome. Slightly creepy. But awesome.
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Old 01-28-15, 11:51 PM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
Old literature, too, including a set of Poe in red cloth from 1902.
That's really precious. Try some second-hand book stores at the campus, I think.
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Old 02-07-15, 02:00 PM
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Re: Best way to find new homes for old books?

Church rummage sales?
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