Wednesday 3 March 2004

banning books

The wonderful Ethan sent me pictures of a gnarly messy office. I looked around and realized, gee, these photos look a lot like my office.

The biggest problem in here is an overwhelming number of books. Many of them are still really good web-related books, and some of them are out-of-date books that I have back copies of.

I need some help figuring out how to ban this excess, because I am hoping to redecorate this office sometime in the next few months. Here’s what I’m thinking so far:

  1. Offer books from an inventory list which I’ll put together on a first-come first-serve basis for the cost of shipping to any interested buyers, with a two dollar handling fee per book to cover my time packaging ’em up and running them around. I’ll even sign ’em personally.
  2. Find a good use for out-of-date books, although I have no idea what this might be. I can’t give 20 copies of Mastering Adobe GoLive 4.0 away, for example. But I also can’t bring myself to destroy a book – any book. It’s just an abhorrent thought.

Would readers be interested in seeing the inventory list and helping me out with this? Any suggestions on what to do with those books that are too far out of date to be of use?

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   site admin | 10:31 | Comments (13)

Comments (13)

  1. Ever consider Book Crossing ( Could be an interesting way to give away at least some of the books.

    Or, there’s always the ever-popular eBay auction :-).

  2. This is why god invented Bookmans, my dear. The one on Speedway, at least, has zero good web books (I’ve looked, believe me,) so even out of date ones would be a vast improvement. And then you would get store credit in massive amounts which could be used for more frivolous and enjoyable reading material, music, etc.

  3. Inventory would be good, also bookcrossing is another way of getting rid of books. I normally donate my out of date books to my local library.

  4. I second the Lady Sian. Once you start mentioning horribly outdated books, the only real use somebody might have for them is research, so donating to the library is a perfect choice, with the additional little perk of a tax break. The problem with giving those books to an org or a used bookstore is that you might have the uninformed buying books that they probably really shouldn’t, or they’ll just take up the org’s space instead of yours.

    As far as useful books, many more options are good, including the library, donating, used bookstore, etc.

    And, yes, I’d be happy to buy books you put up for sale. There’s even a couple I’m actively looking for…

  5. Happy to take some books off your hands.

  6. I have the exact same problem, Molly. My bookshelves are overrun with ever-so-slightly out of date books that are no use to me but probably useful to someone else. I’ve tried contacting orgs who distribute used computer equipment to those who need it, but none of them are interested in books. I really need to shift some books, but I want them to go to good use.

  7. AS for “outdated” technical books, contact organizations that provide services overseas. You’d be surpirised how useful an original IBM-PC can be int a remote mission station. Ancient software can enhance those systems, and ancient books on how to use the software best, even more. Besides, you get to write off a hefty tax-break.Should you decide to sell your books, let me know. I’m a bookaholic, and my final terror before falling asleep is that an earthquake will strike and my books will bury me!

    Stoping creeping fascism one HTML tag at a time.

  8. Molly,

    If there is a residental drug treatment program in town, they usually have some type of vocational training program. They would probably be interested in taking the books for their training programs. Not only will it make you feel good that someone less fortunate than oneself will become a better person, but there is usually a tax deduction in it for you too.


  9. Don’t count on ‘outdated’ books being useless. Many academic institutions don’t upgrade as fast as businesses or we do. (As we all know from catering for Netscape 4.*) At Wrox, when we were releasing VB.NET books I had lots of mails from universities saying “Can you point us to stockists of your VB5 books, as we’ve just upgraded from VB3”.

    You could donate them to a local Uni.

  10. These days, I usually donate my excess to the local Library. If they don’t want to shelve every title, they can still benefit by selling the others in “Friends of the Library” sales.

  11. BAN BOOKS !!! There are books that we need to ban. Their content is unacceptable. Get it out of young childerns reach.

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