Posted on: June 16, 2009 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 6

Even the most studious of students can find that they have way too many textbooks in their life. The average college or university student collects a huge variety of textbooks during their time in school. You may find that you no longer have a use for this pile of books that are collecting dust in a corner or on a shelf somewhere. Don’t stress! There are many ways for you to get rid of old textbooks from your life. Follow these suggestions and your textbooks will be gone, you can help out others and you might even be richer because of it!

1. Donate your textbooks.

This is a common strategy that you can try to be rid of your books. There are countless places either in your immediate area or around the world where these textbooks can make a big difference. Just because your textbook no longer has value for you, does not mean that somebody else cannot use it!

Content from certain books relating to history or grammar changes very little over time. Books from any subject matter can be of some use to somebody as well. You might consider going to your local thrift store to drop these books off. Public libraries, churches, and schools are also often looking for new books to put on their shelves.

Be sure to call ahead to any of these places before you bring books over. You will likely be upset if you lug the books all the way there only to find out that they are not looking for any!

2. Give them to charity.

This is another great way to pass your textbooks along where you can be sure they will get good use. There are several charities and non-profit organizations that can put your old textbooks to good use.

Charities either use these books as teaching materials for students who are illiterate or do not have access to any school materials. They may also use their extensive networks to sell this material to raise money that can be applied elsewhere in their organization. You could try Books for Africa, which is a great choice. They have shipped over 22 million books since their business started in 1988.

Always check the specific rules for any given organization. Books for Africa, for instance, only accepts newer editions of books relating to medicine, law, nursing, or reference textbooks.

Some charities offer a pickup service, so you do not even need to mail your books in or bring them to any specific area. This can save you some time!

3. Sell them.

If your textbooks are recent enough editions, chances are good that you might be able to obtain some of the initial sale value of them. If you have no interest in donating your books, consider adopting this approach.

Many bookstores in your local area might be interested in buying your old textbooks. You can also try a textbook buyback program at your college or university. Some people make a living off of these services, and this can be a perfect solution for you to get rid or your old textbooks all at once! Simply bring your books to the specific area on campus where the textbook buyers are located. They have databases indicating the value of your book based on the edition as well as condition that it is in. Keep in mind that you are not likely to get a large amount of your money back with this approach!

You can also try selling your books online. Many schools have different websites set up that you can post different advertisements onto. You can also try websites like Kijiji or Facebook which offer very similar services. If you are willing to put in a bit of extra work, chances are good that you can sell your book to someone on your campus who needs it the following term! This is also almost a guaranteed way to make more money than you would by selling it to a textbook buyback type of company.

Another website to try is eBay. If you cannot find someone who needs your textbook at a specific college or university campus, try this approach instead! You immediately get a much higher level of traffic to your post. This can be a good strategy as well if your book is perhaps an older edition that people might normally not as interested in. Providing all of the information regarding the title of the work, its condition, and the price will give potential buyers a good sense of what you have to offer.

4. Trade them.

Times can be tough for money, especially when you are a student! It may be the case that people don’t have the available money to buy your book from you. This is where trading books can be a huge help. There are several websites around that offer these types of services. Advertise what books you have available, and arrange a meet up to swap textbooks with somebody who has one that you are looking for.

You can also have swap parties with your friends or your neighbours. This is a perfect way to get rid of an old textbook and get a brand new one in the process! One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, as they say.

5. Recycle them.

Sometimes there is nothing to do but recycle an old textbook. If it is in poor condition, or is too outdated, you may have trouble selling it, let alone donating it. You should not throw your books away in this case. The pages and even the covers themselves are recyclable the majority of the time.

Recycling old textbooks helps avoid the problem of filling our landfills beyond the levels they are already at. Producing paper to make new textbooks also uses a lot of trees. Let your old textbook fuel the pages of new ones! Recycling any waste paper is a great way to protect the environment by reducing the packaging, production, and transportation costs of creating paper.

Many areas have recycling drop off points specifically designed for textbook drop off. Check your local listings to see if this applies to you! Some recycling plants may even pick up textbooks for you, especially if you have a large amount to get rid of all at once.

So there you have it! Follow these steps and you get rid of those old textbooks and have them out of your life before you know it. Remember that someone out there likely could use the books that you have, so if they are just sitting around anyhow, why not put them to good use? You can make someone’s day by donating them, or even turn some profit by selling them to someone else. Worst case scenario, you ditch them for good.

6 People reacted on this

  1. Great article, thanks for the eco-friendly advice! On more thing: Before you recycle old textbooks for paper, try recycling for content (and getting paid for it). A book that is considered old for you may still be used by someone else in another place and still have value.

  2. Before donating a textbook, try and see if it is worth anything that you can trade it for. I use to trade and sell textbooks with other students at my campus.

  3. I woud suggest using GreenTextbooks
    Save Money, Save The Planet

    GreenTextbooks specializes in the recycling of textbooks, DVDs, CDs. Buying used textbooks not only saves you money, but cuts down on greenhouse gases caused by the manufacturing of new textbooks.
    With GreenTextbooks you’re not only saving trees, you are saving some green.

  4. I would suggest using GreenTextbooks

    Save Money, Save The Planet

    GreenTextbooks specializes in the recycling of textbooks, DVDs, CDs. Buying used textbooks not only saves you money, but cuts down on greenhouse gases caused by the manufacturing of new textbooks.
    With GreenTextbooks you’re not only saving trees, you are saving some green.

  5. Hello, I would like to donate my old College text books and others types from 1997 – 2000. I live in the Chicago area. Are you aware of a place that will pick them up? There are over 100 books.


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