Thursday, August 18, 2011

Recommendation: Unloading Your Books

Our companion email list, the Cleveland Park Listserv, is a treasure trove of recommendations. We want to share on All Life Is Local, on a periodic basis, the best recommendations that have been posted on the Cleveland Park Listserv. Just use the search box on this site to type in the category of service you're looking for.

This recommendation is a compilation of advice from various list members about shedding excess books. There are recommendations both for selling used books and for donating your books to a worthy cause.

First, about selling books to used booksellers:

This all pertains to your average box of books. If you have a very large or valuable collection, cash and house calls are available.

Try selling online to Powell's books (the Oregon bookshop); they are pretty fussy about what condition the books are in as they tell you on the website. You put in the ISBN and they immediately tell you if they want the book and how much
they will give you in cash via PayPal or store credit (more for the latter) and they pay for shipping."

Capitol Hill Books buys for cash on very limited days and times and in limited quantities.

Wonder Books in Gaithersburg has the most lenient purchasing policy, though perhaps a pay-out to match. They also take DVDs & CDs.

One person suggested taking things to the Second Story Books warehouse in Rockville for cash instead of downtown. Last time I was in, Second Story no longer offered cash at either location, though I imagine this policy might vary for something rare. The website does say they "buy" books, but in the used book trade this means they might buy for cash or buy for store trade.

Second, about book donations:

I dropped off 9 boxes of books last weekend at the Cleveland Park library and they accepted them and gave me a receipt. I parked in back and put the books in the bins just inside their back door then went to the reference desk for a receipt. They appreciated that I left the books in the boxes and loaded it onto the cart next to the bins.

From Friends of the Cleveland Park Library: We have been accepting donations since early spring, and would be very happy to receive yours. The bins are inside the back doors (outer and inner) to the library (on Macomb), or you can come in from the front. We accept everything except textbooks, magazines, and
older travel guides. We have had several sales this past spring and summer, and will have another one in the fall. Book sorting is done almost every day, so please consider us when you donate.

If you're still looking for a place to donate your books, you might consider the Chevy Chase Friends of the Library. We operate a used book store every Saturday and encourage donations of every genre -- so long as the books are in good condition. But no textbooks, please. Donations are welcomed at any time the
library is open: Mondays and Wednesdays, 1 p.m. - 9 p.m., every other day except Sunday from 9:30 p.m.- 5:30 p.m. The librarian can show you where donations are collected and can also give you a receipt for tax purposes.

Books for America is a DC-based nonprofit that distributes books to children and adults and supports literacy programs. You can drop off your donations (must be in like-new condition) at the Books for America store in Dupont Circle, but be sure to call ahead, 202-835-2665, so that someone will be prepared to help you. For large quantities (50 or more books) that meet all the criteria for donation, a pickup can be arranged. Email info @ or call 202-835-2665 for more information.

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