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Clearing out my bookshelves

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bungeejumper
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Clearing out my bookshelves

#112127

Postby bungeejumper » January 20th, 2018, 4:06 pm

I've done it! I've finally done it! I have taken the proverbial axe to my stash of books, many of them dating from my university days almost half a century ago. I've created four or five yards of wide open new shelf space, so now maybe I can have something a bit more visually attractive on my shelves than Marcuse's Sexual Dynamics, or the Dialectics of Pre-Enlightenment Brandenburg, or the blatherings of 200 years' worth of German romantic poets, who I always hated anyway?

I've sorted out everything that'll probably find a welcome in the charity shops. (No, sadly I don't really think Schopenhauer and Wittgenstein and Hegel will have the housewives fighting among themselves.) I've kept any books that I particularly loved for their clarity and significance, and I've put all the rude ones far out of my granddaughter's reach. I've got my treasured (and unread) copy of Mao's Little Red Book, which now sits incongruously in a drawer alongside the lump of concrete that I chiselled out of the Berlin Wall in 1989. And what I've got left is....

....about 200 kilos of literally useless books, fit only for pulp. Half of them in German - and actually, most of the rest are incomprehensible in other ways. (The sixties were like that. :lol:) All I have to do now is figure out what to do with the stuff. Will the council take them as paperbacks, and will I have to rip the covers off the hardbacks? Would be great to hear of anyone else who's been down that road. Any advice?

TIA

BJ

midnightcatprowl
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Re: Clearing out my bookshelves

#112155

Postby midnightcatprowl » January 20th, 2018, 6:00 pm

Suggestions:

Offer them on Freegle or Freecycle or Olio or Gumtree or a local community group online or whatever way you have of offering stuff for free. There is a big fashion for making things out of printed books - the language and original topic is irrelevant. I am not myself a 'crafty' person so I find it quite difficult to describe the uses but people cut into the pages and turn them into decorations, mobiles, gifts, jewellery, substitutes for Christmas trees and well all sorts of things. Some for their own personal pleasure and use, some do it to sell the resulting items. If you don't believe me take a look for instance at:

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/chpl7npr/fun-things-to-do-with-old-books/?lp=true


I have in the past put books which were beyond any other use (before the crafting craze got going) in my recycling wheely bin but yes I always took the covers off hardbacks at least.

midnightcatprowl
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Re: Clearing out my bookshelves

#112156

Postby midnightcatprowl » January 20th, 2018, 6:01 pm


PinkDalek
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Re: Clearing out my bookshelves

#112157

Postby PinkDalek » January 20th, 2018, 6:12 pm

bungeejumper wrote:... Will the council take them as paperbacks, and will I have to rip the covers off the hardbacks? Would be great to hear of anyone else who's been down that road. Any advice?

TIA

BJ


Not really much help but https://www.recyclenow.com/what-to-do-with/books-1 includes:

Books can't usually be recycled along with other paper recycling because of the glue that's used to bind them.
Instead, there are many possibilities for re-using, donating or reselling books.


Despite that, I did what you suggest with a large number, others went into Oxfam book banks.

Failing that, anyone round your way looking at an open air AmDram of "Fahrenheit 451"?

Watis
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Re: Clearing out my bookshelves

#112162

Postby Watis » January 20th, 2018, 6:34 pm

I thought of a brilliant use for unwanted larger books. So brilliant I was going to patent it. Then I happened upon the Etsy website and found that loads of people have had the same idea and were making and selling the very thing I had in mind!

The idea was that these books could be hollowed out and used to conceal laptops, ipads or whatever. Placed back in a bookcase full of books, no-one would ever know. And I've never heard of burglars stealing books.

Oh, well . . .

Watis

AleisterCrowley
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Re: Clearing out my bookshelves

#112182

Postby AleisterCrowley » January 20th, 2018, 8:30 pm

Hope you have scanned them for potentially valuable first editions!
Don't want too throw away an IPCRESS File or Casino Royale..
Oddly, Fahrenheit 451 popped into my head too.
Would they burn OK in wood burner, or is this stupid/dangerous/otherwise verboten?

moorfield
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Re: Clearing out my bookshelves

#112206

Postby moorfield » January 20th, 2018, 10:59 pm

bungeejumper wrote:
....about 200 kilos of literally useless books, fit only for pulp.


Sacrilege! No book is literally useless - but perhaps that's just my upbringing ..... We do make every effort to recycle our books rather than just dumping or pulping. Although you've just reminded me of the genius Stewart Lee on the subject of useless books.

The 18th century polymath Thomas Young is said to have been the last person to have read all the books published in his lifetime - all the Shakespeare, Greek classics etc. The same man today would have had to have read all Dan Brown's novels, two volumes of Chris Moyles' autobiographies, Russell Brand's My Booky Wook, The World According to Clarkson #1, '#2, #3 etc. etc.

In short, the man who had read everything published today would be more stupid than the man who had read nothing.

That's not a good state of affairs.

moorfield
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Re: Clearing out my bookshelves

#112209

Postby moorfield » January 20th, 2018, 11:27 pm

You've inspired me to have a root through the darker corners of the library here at Moorfield Towers and I've just found my copies of Bostock & Chandler last seen many years ago!

Happy days - that's tomorrow's rainy day sorted. :ugeek:

bungeejumper
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Re: Clearing out my bookshelves

#112227

Postby bungeejumper » January 21st, 2018, 8:11 am

Thank you all so much for your ideas! (And for the protestations, too.) There's a lot to think about there.

Alas, I think I'm going to have to pass on Gumtree and Ebay and all the rest of it, if only because I don't really have the time to go through all that malarkey. I did check out the prospects for the more obscure stuff - for example, the 1960s East German poet whose first editions only fetch £1.24p at Abe Books. :( And most of the rest of it was in rubbishy mass-market paperbacks anyway, so not worth too much to anybody either. But hmmm, I've got a 1960s guide to the East Berllin Pergamon Museum Island, which was practically a smoking ruin at the time I visited it, and which is now a world-famous heritage site. It's bound to be of scholarly interest to somebody?

Hmmm, so do I strip, rip and pulp the rest, or do I let it sit in my garage for a few years before stripping, ripping and pulping it? :lol:

First editions, AC? I should be so lucky. I did find one from a charity bookshop, which was Kingsley Amis's "hilariously funny" Stanley and the Women - not his best story, and pretty flawed (and also rather unkind to women! - a devious, insensitive and ultimately immoral little coven of conspirators, whereas all the men in the story are affable whisky-drinking good old chaps). It's worth a couple of quid even in first edition, so it's going back to the charity shop. Might as well let it shock and disappoint somebody else as much as it shocked and disappointed me. ;)

Thanks again to all. Think I'll let it sit for a while. But oh dear, isn't that prevarication, and isn't it what we're supposed to be not doing? :lol:

BJ

Dod101
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Re: Clearing out my bookshelves

#112228

Postby Dod101 » January 21st, 2018, 8:58 am

bj

First thing is not to put them in the garage. That is a recipe for finding them there in ten years time. Dump the lot. MY charity shop gets rid of a lot of rubbishy books so I would ask them what they do with them and try to latch on to that although paperbacks can I think go into the domestic recycling bin. For this task there is nothing to think about just where to dump them.

I have done a lot of clearing out over the last 18 months or so, including of books, although mine went to the charity shop. I stay have more than enough I may say.

Good luck

Dod

DiamondEcho
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Re: Clearing out my bookshelves

#138843

Postby DiamondEcho » May 13th, 2018, 4:26 pm

bungeejumper wrote:I've got my treasured (and unread) copy of Mao's Little Red Book, which now sits incongruously in a drawer alongside the lump of concrete that I chiselled out of the Berlin Wall in 1989. And what I've got left is

Coincidentally, my wife has a copy of Mao's 'LRB', and I've a Ziplock bag of maybe 100 multi-coloured chips of the concrete wall collected on that fateful weekend in 1989. I hadn't thought of uniting the two; perhaps I should do so and invite 'Jeremy and Diane' around for a bit of domestic shrine worship with a bottle of Fair-Trade prosecco + reminiscences :lol:
Back to your topic meanwhile, bookshelves merit periodic clear-outs. It's easier not to clear stuff out (throwing out books just feels wrong). Moving house every few years helps focus the use of space.

TUK020
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Re: Clearing out my bookshelves

#142670

Postby TUK020 » May 31st, 2018, 9:38 pm

Get a woodstove before next winter


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