Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday Wonderings (10) - What do you do with books you have read?

Happy Wednesday!

When I wrote a guest blog at Romance at Random last week, there were actually many interesting comments which brought me to the topic I would like to write about today. The topic of the guest blog was eBooks versus paper books and the general result of it was, that many people read both.

The question I want to ask you today is what do you do with your paper books after you have read them?

Many people love paper books and so do I. I have quite huge "library" at home with hundreds of books on the shelves. I also know that many readers like me buy books, read them and... then what? I personally have kept all the paper books I have bought or received. I do re-read some of them, but I also do have books which I read only once and then they stay on the shelves.

As I see it, there are not many options:

Firstly, you keep all your books until the day you die and then your family members, kids, relatives get these books after you are gone. I don't want to be morbid here, but one sure thing in the life is, that everybody dies. For me, the storing is the problem very often. I do have many shelves, but at some point there will be the limit of not having place for them.

Secondly, you can give the books you have read and know that you will not re-read away to your friends who share the same passion for reading or donate them to libraries.

Thirdly, you can sell your used books. I know that many people sell their used books either on amazon or other sites. Personally I have never used that option myself, not yet at least.

My strong belief is, that books shouldn't just stay on the shelves to gather dust - they are too valuable, but I personally belong to the first option given. I do lend my books to friends happily as long as I am sure that I will get them back. So far I have kept all the many books what I have. I have to admit though that since I believe that books should not just stay and gather dust, I have started to consider option two and three too, but haven't come to that yet.

I also know that there are many books, that I would NEVER give away or sell, because I know that eventually I will come back to them and read them again. Signed books go under that category and of course favorite books from my favorite authors. I think I would never sell or give away the world classics' books, because I want my kid to read them when he grows to the reading age. My wish is to educate and lead him to the books and to the love for reading.

So the questions is what should I do with many other good books what I have which are definitely worth of reading for people who haven't read them yet? I don't know the answer. Honestly.

What do you do with the paper books you have read? Do you keep, give away or sell them?

Happy reading!


  1. As you said, there are books that I would never give away, because I like to reread them and are special to me in some way.

    But I do have a big storage problem, I just don't have space. I have two bookshelves full of books in my room and I don't have more place for another bookshelf. So, that's one of the reason why I started to read e-books. Also, I think it's sad for books o stay closed just gathering dust and turning it pages into, I'm starting to give them away. To friends, family or at my blog.

  2. Just like you I have a lot of "keepers", but seeing how my apartment is small and new books keep on rolling in, I have started to give away or sell books in recent years. When I know I won't read it again this is a pretty good option - giving books to friends or selling them online or giving them away to charity.
    To save money I've started buying books used myself in the past year or two and somehow it's easier to part with those. Eg I'm now planning on pre-loved giveaways on my blog. After all these books might have been pawed through several times but they still have some life left!
    A whole different question are all the books I received as gifts or which I've won AND which are signed ... I don't think I will ever part with any of them.

  3. I love to give them away on my blog. Because even though I love them, I know someday I will downsize my house and I would rather give them away when they are popular and people want them.

  4. I give them away, or put them on Paperbackswap, or trade with friends.

  5. I tend to keep most of my books because I do enjoy re-reading them. There are several though that I find myself able to part with so I sell them on eBay or get book credit at a used bookstore. I gift books to people who are interested.

    Good question!