Image Credit: Clarissa Bell
Most of us have a number of books hanging around that we aren’t going to look at again; some of us have a lot! There are lots of ways you can recycle your books which can benefit yourself or someone else and make a bit more space on your shelves for…….well more books probably!
The obvious place to donate your books is your local charity shop. However if your local shop has a ‘no books please’ sign up you do have some other options.
Many hospitals appreciate donations of books for patients to read. Try contacting the League of Friends in the first place if your hospital has one.
Books that are in very good condition may be accepted by your local library, either to be included in the lending collection or added to the ex-stock items for sale - they will then raise money for the library to buy new items. It’s best to check first whether they accept donations however before you turn up with a carload of books. By the way, some libraries are interested in old magazines too.
You could also donate then to a jumble sale or fete held by your local school, church, WI or youth club.
Read a great book and want to share it? Bookcrossing entered the OED in 2004 defined as; n. the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise. Register it with the Bookcrossing website and you are given a unique ID number. Then just label the book and release it for someone else to read - give it to a friend, leave it on a park bench, donate it to charity, or simply "forget" it in a coffee shop. You can track its progress and see how many people get to share it.
Looking for something a little less altruistic?
Image Credit: philip jackson
What about books that are in poor condition?
Well, your local charity shop or jumble sale don't really want old books with pages missing, books that are badly stained or that have been chewed by an enthusiatic baby or puppy.
These cannot be recycled because of the glue which is used in the binding process. So they will have to go into your household waste.
If you have any childrens books which have electronics built in and these could be removed and recycled as per other electrical and electronic items.
Finally, if you have a really, really bad book, please just bin it. A version of a classic that is riddled with errors, a poorly translated book or a book that is just a total waste of time is not sacred just because it is book-shaped. It is just paper and card. Don't inflict it on someone else.