Monday, January 7, 2008

Decluttering Destinations

Has your decluttering resolution resulted in a towering stack of gently-used books in need of new homes? Are there too many to seek appreciative readers one-by-one through friends or Freecycle? There are plenty of organizations that welcome book donations, either to pass along to needy individuals, schools, shelters, and others or to sell as fundraisers for charitable projects. To me, chucking my beloved books in the Salvation Army bin feels a bit cold. I prefer to think of them being handled lovingly by devoted book people, even if they don't necessarily know the full literary merit of an extra copy of A Sand County Almanac. Most cities have non-profits dedicated to re-distributing used books. Near me in D.C., there’s Books for America, which has announced an urgent need for children’s volumes and accepts mailed donations. Books for America would be a great destination for Owl Moon, Crinkleroot’s Guide to the Trees, Hatchet, or any of your kids’ other neglected old favorites. Baltimore’s The Book Thing also takes used book (and magazine) shipments as well as on-site donations. Unlike many other book-based charities, The Book Thing accepts books on any topic with any publication date. Check out their list of the 14 Strangest Titles donated to The Book Thing, and see if you can help them fulfill their simple mission “to put unwanted books into the hands of those who want them."

Please let me know if you're aware of other good places to donate quantities of good books. . . .

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