Monday, July 4, 2011

All Those Books, Part 2: What Now?

A few days ago, I wrote about how being gifted with an eReader has changed my life in a small, but pretty significant way, by allowing me to "let go" of all the books on my bookshelves.

But now that I've purged my bookshelves, what am I supposed to do with the books that used to live on them?

What to do with all these books?

I figure I have a few choices.  I could toss them, but for a book lover like me, throwing a book in the trash can is nearly akin to tossing a defenseless kitten into a raging river - unthinkable!  Not to mention incredibly wasteful.  So, tossing them is out.

I could donate them.  The local library always needs books, after all.

I could sell them in the tag sale we have coming up in a week or so.  But, then I'd have to sort them, price them, and try to sell them.  And if I'm lucky, I might get a quarter each out of them.

I was really leaning toward the donate option when a poster on a Thrifty forum I frequent let me know about Amazon's trade in program.

What?  What's that, you say?

You mean Amazon will buy back old books that I no longer want?  AND I don't have to pay for shipping??

Really, this sounded too good to be true.  But, I thought I'd check it out before I toted five and a half boxes of (very heavy!) books to the library on the other side of the county. 

Here's how the program works:
  1. First you visit Amazon's Trade In page.  
  2. Type the ISBN, Title, or Author's name of the book you want to sell into the search bar.
  3. If the correct edition of your book is available to sell back, add it to your list.  Continue adding as many books as you'd like (up to $750 worth).
  4. Submit your titles to Amazon, and print out the prepaid shipping label.  
  5. Have the books in the mail to Amazon within seven days and receive store credit once they are received.  
Sounds simple enough, doesn't it?  But I wondered if it was really worth it.  I mean, with kids running around the house, do I really have time to sit at the computer and enter in dozens of ISBN numbers on the off chance that I might only be paid $0.50 for a book?  I chose five books from the "get rid of" pile and set about to see what Amazon thought they were worth.  To my surprise, Amazon wanted to pay me $15.60 for these five titles!  That's nearly $4.00 per title, and well worth the effort in my opinion. 

Naturally, all of the books I've chosen to get rid of won't qualify for the trade in program, but if I can sell back a small fraction of them, I'll be happy.  And, I'll have money (in the form of store credit) that I can use to buy holiday gifts this year!  The books that don't qualify will end up at the library, if I don't have a tag sale first. 

I've yet to finish my trade-in transaction, but I'm looking forward to sending off my first box of books this week.  I'll let you know how it goes!

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