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How To Down-size Your Book Collection

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Most book lovers would rather cut off an arm rather than part with a single tatty paperback, but sometimes it is necessary to reduce the number of books in our possession. Moving house, a general make-over, or just having a good clear out provides the opportunity to get rid of books we no longer need. The following steps may make it a little easier:
What you'll need: 
3 large cardboard boxes
We all have firm favourites that we read again and again. There’s the ‘Arms For Oblivion’ series, ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, Balzac’s ‘Human Comedy’, ‘Wind In The Willows’, ‘Travels With My Aunt’, ‘Riptide’ … we can’t part with any of them. These should be dusted off and replaced on the shelf.
Most of us also have non-fiction and reference books that cover subjects we’ve had, or still have, more than a passing interest in. If the subject no longer interests us, then it’s time to get rid of the books, bearing in mind that Wikepedia provides an instant encyclopaedia for general information and fact finding. Those we still use go back on the shelf, the rest are put on one side for recycling.
Books we have read once and never picked up again should go. These are often popular novels and book club editions and have little re-saleable value.
Separate the throw-outs into three separate boxes – two for possible sale to local booksellers or e-bay, and the third for charity shops. So strip out the book shelves and begin ...
Second-hand booksellers are looking for books they can resell and if they are in the serious trade they will also be interested in any older volumes with antique or curiosity value. Hardback and modern paperbacks must be in good condition if you expect to get a good bulk price for them.
There is always a demand for second-hand academic text books, especially in university towns. Take them along to a second-hand bookseller where students hang out and get a good price for them. Otherwise offer them for sale on e-bay.
E-bay is a good place for selling single books or complete series but be aware that postal charges are now making e-bay sales uneconomical for selling more than one book at a time.
Charity shops will take almost any book and lots of people pay a weekly visit to their local shop to buy books – both fiction and non-fiction.
If you can’t be bothered with sorting through the ‘throw-outs’ place a table full of books near your front gate and invite passers-by to help themselves. You can put a box for donations with a few pence in the bottom, and donate to charity any profits you make.
Sorting through your unwanted books might provide you with the opportunity to earn a small sum of money for very little effort. And who knows, it might start you off on a new career as a bookseller!
Check out ABE-Books for up to date prices on current second-hand book prices
Books are addictive and just because you’ve made lots of room in the book case, doesn’t mean you can fill it up again with new titles.


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