What to Do With Your Old Books

What can I do with my old books?

If you are asking yourself this question, we have 10 ways for you to put those old or unwanted books to good use.

1. Donate them to a library or charity.

Call up your local library to see what kinds of books they would like to add to their collection. If they only accept a few of your books, you can still donate used titles to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, local thrift stores, and even prisons!

2. Build a Tiny Free Library.

Creating a Little Free Library is a great way to connect with your community while sharing your unwanted books with people who can access and read them for free. As a bonus, you’ll get the chance to read any books that your neighbors decide to leave in your little library! Learn how to get started with this tutorial. Or you can always put your unwanted books into any Tiny Free Library that you come across.

3. Craft a DIY book clutch.

With an old book, a glue gun, Mod Podge, and some fabric, you can turn a hardcover book into a quirky clutch or purse to add the perfect amount of whimsy to an everyday outfit!

4. Organize a book swap with your friends.

Ask around to see if anyone you know has a stack of books they’re looking to get rid of, and then host a party where all of you can browse through each others’ collections and swap books. This option is great for book collectors who hate the feeling of getting rid of books, even if they know they’ll never read certain titles again.

5. Sell them to Half-Priced Books.

It isn’t guaranteed that Half-Priced Books will buy all of your books from you, but you can expect $1-$2 for each book they accept. Half-Priced Books also pays cash for music, movies, comics, magazines, board games, and collectibles if you want to make room in your home for new material!

6. Hollow out a book to make a secret safe.

With a bit of patience, an exacto knife, and some Mod Podge or craft glue, you can create your very own hidden compartment within a hollowed-out book.

7. Make elegant seasonal decorations.

These adorable paper book pumpkins are perfect for fall, and they’re easier to make than you may assume. For the holiday season, create an impressive paper wreath to hang on your front door or wall to impress all of your guests.

8. Trade them for credit on Amazon.

The Amazon Trade-In program will let you trade in specific items, such as textbooks and Amazon devices, in exchange for an Amazon gift card. While this option is best for electronic devices and games, you could potentially earn some credit for trading in your old textbooks.

9. Create striking wall art in seconds.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a creative person, you can easily follow this art tutorial. Replace the paper in your printer with old book pages and search online for images like flowers, silhouettes, animals, or other pictures that catch your eye. Print the image out in black ink, and then simply put the page in a picture frame for a lovely accent piece.

10. Recycle them.

Any paperback books you have that are torn, water damaged, or otherwise unusable can simply be placed in your recycling bin.


If you are getting rid of your books because you have transitioned to ebooks, see this wonderful site which makes it easy to find free Kindle books.

If you are getting rid of unwanted books to make room for more books, see this list of online book sellers. Hint: there are several sites that sell books for significantly less than Amazon.



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