Too many used books? Want to help literacy efforts? Here's what to do
Those who love reading are usually very fond of creating libraries to have for display at home. The avid reader is someone who can easily get through at least 3 to 5 books weekly depending on length and topic. This means that the pile of books stacking up will be of at least 12 new titles monthly.
In many cases, these books can start to become more of a burden at home than a collectible. While some books can be good enough to revisit multiple times, most of them never get a second read. When this happens, it might be a good idea to consider donating your books.
What to donate and what to recycle
It’s important to note that you should donate certain kinds of content and not everything that you no longer use. For example, aging children’s books, novellas, and periodicals are not the type of reading you should consider donating. The idea is to donate conscientiously and ensure that you can give quality reading material to others.
Avoiding any kind of adult material like erotic novels is also a good idea. Aside from that, anything that is overused and outdated should be avoided and just sent out for recycling. The idea is to be as mindful as possible when you consider the idea of donating books.
Do some basic research
It is a good idea to find out where you are donating your books. This way you can see if your reading material can be helpful. The good thing is that most programs that accept book donations are happy to tell you which books are useful. This can save you a ton of time in case you feel you can’t fit it into your schedule.
If you do find the time to do some research, it is a good idea to look for the right kind of audience. Once you know the ages and the kind of situation of the people who receive donations, you will have a better idea of the content you can donate.
Where should you be donating?
Once you have a good number of books that you want to donate, it is a good idea to consider where to go. The location you choose for your donations will benefit a specific demographic. This is important if you wish to help people of certain ages. The following are some of the most common places you can consider for this purpose.
This is probably the first place that comes to mind for many people and it is always a good spot. With that said, you can expect most libraries to have very specific guidelines regarding the books they accept. The good news is that most librarians can recommend other locations for the books they don’t accept.
Many libraries only take books that are for academic purposes, while others are very interested in self-help books and autobiographies. You are not going to find it difficult to donate to libraries, but anything they do not take can easily find a home somewhere else.
Local literacy campaigns
This is also a good opportunity for you to donate your books to children. Most of these campaign efforts offer websites that you can search to see donation options near you. This is a great way to donate because it can contribute to a child’s development. Always take your time to look for the best options available near you. The Coalition for Literacy Equity is a good place to start.
Prison book drivesIf anyone needs more productive things to do with their time, there is no doubt that prison inmates are always a good place to look. You can find that there are many programs that help bring more quality books to prisons in your area. There are several nonprofits that dedicate their time and efforts to this process. This is definitely a great way to contribute to the rehabilitation of individuals who find themselves incarcerated for any given reason.
Book exchangesThere is always the opportunity to exchange your books for other reading material you could find interesting. There are several book exchange initiatives taking place in many areas of the country. If you feel like you would rather have new material to read instead of just giving away your books, this is a good place to check.
Recycling is always an optionIf you feel like you simply want to get rid of your books, but you have no time to spend on this. The ideal way to handle this is to recycle the books. There are some recycling spots that will categorize books and send them out for evaluation to see if they are useful to others.
There are always places to recycle your books and this is going to be very helpful for the environment. If you don’t directly contribute a book donation to someone else, recycling helps you contribute to a better world. This is always a win-win, so it is good to always see it as an option.
Try to avoid dumping your books in the trashWe know sometimes life gets so hectic that we can’t even spend enough time eating and sleeping. When this happens, we often consider the fastest way of getting rid of things we no longer use. Throwing things in the trash is often the fastest solution to those problems. With that said, it is always a good idea to avoid this with books.
Even if it takes you a little bit of extra effort, try to find a better home for your best reading material. You never know who might benefit from this and the incredible impact that it could have on their lives.
Taking the time to find a good place to donate books is a very good activity to consider. Anything that helps bring more literature to our world is always going to be worth the effort.