I am cleaning out my bookshelves. I packed up the books I’ve read and want to keep until I get a new place. I need the room, bad. Now I have more than half a bookshelf of books I’ve never read (or read a few chapters and gave up early) and never plan to. These are the books mailed to me unsolicited. Some I really appreciated. Who doesn’t love a free book when it’s an author you know or a genre you like? But many of them are books I’m just not interested in. Some are from well known authors, some aren’t.
Soooooo, what the hell do I do with these books I don’t want to read? I feel bad. I wish I could read every ARC sent to me, but at one point I was getting 2-3 a week and I wasn’t enjoying them because they weren’t reads I would have bought myself.
I could run giveaways but the shipping costs would add up and it would take forever to get rid of all these books (I will keep a few for giveaways). I can donate them to the library, though we have a really crappy library no one really goes to. I could sell them, but how? Can you sell ARCs or is that wrong? I don’t know!!!
Have you run into this problem? What do you do with books you no longer want? I need ideas, people!
Side note: I legit wrote this whole post with a cat under each arm, wanting attention.
Faith Hunter and Jeanine Lin have done donate media mail ostage cost for 2-4 books/two price levels options to receive random selection from the excess books. It invites participation and retains the fun of a surprise in the mail box. Thoroughly enjoyed each part of the adventure. Not guarantees of titles and materials money refunds for anyone who donated too late vs supplies.
This is something I struggle with too.
Some people are willing to pay for shipping, but unless they’re willing to take a huge box it’s kind of a pain to have to make so many trips to the post office.
I don’t really live near a library I can donate tons of books to, otherwise that’s what I would do.
I started just donating mine to a charity shop. The first time I did, I emphasized you weren’t supposed to sell ARCs and asked if they had another use for them or could find a way to recycle them properly. They said yes. I’m not sure if they actually honour that but oh well.
you can’t sell arc. if receiver is willing to pay for the shipping, gifting them is a good idea or you could create your own little library/bookshelves box for people near you coming to take what they want
Jessica @ a GREAT read
I honestly never knew what to do with all the old ARCs I received before. They were generally ones I never even requested, because like you said, it was cool to get a book like that! When it came to finished copies, I donated, sold or gave away but with ARCs I really have no clue what to do. I didn’t think that some libraries took them because they too wanted finished copies. I think I’ve heard some people donate them to hospitals. I still need to look into that myself.
I donate mine to my public library. They cannot add them to their holdings but they can use them in their Friends of the Library events where donations are received in exchange for books. AND they use some as prizes or giveaways in their various meetings.
I donate hardcovers to the library and trade the paperbacks at my local used book store. Any left over I donate to thrift shops.
Melissa (Books and Things)
If you are near a reservation they will take any books and even ARCs. You can also put out a call on social media and perhaps someone could get together with you and donate them somewhere. I’m also looking at women’s shelters that might really enjoy those books.
Cheryl @ The Book Connection
How about donating them to a local shelter or children’s hospital? Some have literacy drives and would be looking for them.
Lover Of Romance
I would say the best option would be to donate them to those that need them and would really benefit from them.
You could list them all and ask people to pay for shipping. I have donated mine to my local library. Sorry that isn’t an option for you. I hope you find something productive to do with them. Good luck!
I donate them if I don’t want to keep them I confess
I have tons too – I have my trunk filled with books I eventually plan to donate to the local thrift store, but never get around to doing…
I have so many books that I hardly know what to do with the ones I keep, let alone the ones I’ve read once and will probably never read again. I have a pretty good local library, Good Will, Salvation Army, and Flea Market that I could give books too should I ever get to that point. Maybe try one of those if you have any local to you?
I always donate my books to a charity shop or give them a friend. I love sharing books, especially if I didn’t enjoy them purely based on the fact that someone else might fall in love with them and appreciate them unlike I did. <3
Charlotte | https://charlotteidek.com
Nicci @ Sunny Buzzy Books
I’d say as long as the ARC isn’t current – i.e. the book has since released – then it’s cool to donate them somewhere. I like the idea of the hospitals or shelters.
I think that one of the best things to do with unwanted books is to donate them to local homeless shelters. These are people that really could use something comforting in their lives. Even something as simple as a book. And the selections of books at homeless shelters aren’t typically great since they only have what is donated, and most people only think of the necessities like clothing and food when donating.
I had to laugh about the cats. One of mine always sits and stares at me when the laptop is in my lap until I move it enough to make space for her. 🙂 I don’t think you can sell ARCs although I’ve seen them in my local used bookstore…so I suppose that’s an option. I understand the cost with shipping giveaway goodies. You can ship media mail if you’re only shipping books though. It’s significantly cheaper. But still a cost. Do you have family or friends who live in a different area where the library is better? I don’t know what they’re called but I live rurally and we have a few “lending libraries” which are kinda like big bird houses where people donate/borrow/return books. Do you know what I’m talking about? Other than that I have no other ideas! Good luck and let us know what you do. 🙂