Sunday, May 17, 2009

#998: book disposal!

Over the past week or so, Kosh and I found the energy and motivation to go through his boxes and boxes of books, assessing what was worth keeping (for rereads, sentimental reasons, etc) and what really needed to go. ... . He's been harbouring his father's physical education text books from college, for heaven's sake!

... I'm groaning, and I'm a packrat myself!!

Anyways, so we had a few boxes of books, and figured we'd try to get some money back for them then donate the rest.

First stop was online: CKY Books and Powell's Books!

Punched in every single IBSN we had (and some books were so old they didn't have an ISBN!!), got some hits, took note of the titles and offers: so in theory we had about 30 books that would get us maybe $50. But that involved the hassle of packing the books, shipping them (at no cost to us), and hoping the evaluators would keep to the original quote upon seeing the condition of the books.

So we decided to go ahead and see what we could get from bookstores that are known to buy books here in town.

OMG the nightmare of making our way to Myopic!! Finding parking on a busy narrow street in the middle of a beautiful Saturday afternoon with seemingly everyone out on/in the streets enjoying the weather - f.u.n! They didn't take that many books, but offered $22 for what they would take. Tolak $7 for a book I found while browsing waiting for the evaluation to be done, we walked out $15 richer.

We then made our way to Powell's (no idea if it's related to the online one), and they took TWO books, for a measly $1.50. On hindsight, seeing as Powell's had more eclectic tastes, and that their payout seemed to be 75¢ per paperback instead of Myopic's 50¢, perhaps we might have done better to hit Powell's first? As it stood, what we got from Powell's served to cover the parking meters we'd had to feed at both locations.

After those two visits, we still had three rather full boxes of unwanted books - but guess what? We still had 13 books that we'd gotten hits for online! So we set those aside, and dumped donated all the rest to Goodwill.

Tomorrow/today/Sunday, we'll go ahead and reenter all those ISBNs, for reals this time, get the necessary labels printed and books packed, and off to the Post Office we will go.

Once the dust has settled, and we get the/any $ from those online buy-back sites, I'll report back as to whether we might have been better off just shipping off the 30 books before bringing the others to be evaluated at the local bookstores.

... so, how about y'all? Have you done something like this too? Was it worth the effort?

(Photo credit: Old books... by nkzs)

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  1. Do you have Half-Price bookstores in Chicago? That is where I've taken a lot of books over the years whenever I've moved.

  2. I always donate my books to the library. What they don't need on their shelves, they save for the fundraising book sale. Either way, I think it is a win-win for the library which I feel good about. I don't think it's worth the effort to try and sell your books back, but time's just a premium these days and the payoff isn't great enough.

  3. Hi Laura! No, I actually had not heard about Half Price Books! Looks like there are a few in the outer Chicagoland area, about 15 miles from us. If we have another batch of books and other stuff to get rid off, maybe we'll try that next time. Thanks for the tip!

    Hi Lin! Thing is, I really doubt that there was anything libraries would want in those three boxes of ours. Also, based on what I'd observed of the waste going on at the Harold Washington branch, I didn't think they'd bother to take in any books anyway.

  4. I sold lots of books on the Market Place at and had mixed results. For popular paperbacks, it wasn't really worth it, but, for text books and more unusual hardback non-fiction books, I sometimes sold them for more than I had paid for them new!! So, overall, it was worth the effort!

    By the way, thanks for your email. I will reply soon - things have been a bit crazy here!!

    Best wishes,


  5. Thank you for sharing your experience. Please do keep us updated on your final thoughts. We're always interested to hear how we could possibly make the transaction better for you!


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