Saturday, March 15, 2008

What To Do With Old Books

If you're an avid reader, then you're likely to have way too many books lying around. Some people store old books in boxes in the attic or sell them to used bookstores for 25 cents each. Others donate old books to libraries, which generally aren't equipped to unload 1000 copies of The Da Vinci Code. I used to store old books until moving day rolled around, deciding at the last minute to leave the boxes on the curb for trash pickup rather than to haul 20 boxes of old books to wherever I was moving (shameful, I know).

I have found a better solution: Bookins. Bookins is an internet book exchange site with a simple process:

1. List your old books for trade. Bookins will determine the number of points your books are worth based on current market values.
2. Receive an e-mail notification when someone selects one of your listed books.
3. Print a pre-paid postage label generated by the Bookins site, wrap up your old book, afix the label, and leave it for your postal carrier to pick up.


4. When the book is deliered, you will receive credit for the points assigned to the book. Up to now, you have not spent a dime.
5. Once you have some points in the bank, you may then use those points to "buy" other books on the site. When you select a book to "buy" with points, you will be charged for the postage of that book (about $4) and nothing else.
After discovering Bookins, I converted my bookshelves filled with already-read books to bookshelves filled with to-be-read books. I'm now surrounding with books I want to read, and the total cost of the transformation was minimal.

2 comments:

Barrett the Cat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barrett the Cat said...

One broader virtue of something like Bookins seems to be that it takes personal libraries--which for many are just ossified collections of books already read--and transforms them into changing and evolving roadmaps of future knowledge. The personal library thus is no longer confined to being simply an artifact of past experience, and instead becomes more of an organic and shifting thing.