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Minimalist Book Seller

I've now gathered another eighty books to haul off to see if someone wants them. There are two other bookstores in the county of which I am aware, that will buy or trade books. Or I have the option of selling on half.com  I have a dear friend who has offered to help me maneuver their system. She's done quite well selling her books there.

Decisions, decisions. Do I take the time and energy to load books in the trunk of my car, including the ones rejected already by one bookstore? Or, shall I cull out the ones that will sell on half.com and make some cash? The advantage of the first is the simplicity of unloading books all at once. But there is no guarantee, of course, they will be purchased or traded, and I might just come home with a trunk full of books anyway, and nothing to show for my time and energy. Do I want to spend a couple days driving around the county to drop books off, waiting a few days and returning only to be told, "We want these, but not these." or worse yet, "Sorry, we don't want any."

The disadvantage of selling online is that I'll have those same books, not in my trunk but stacked up under the table in the living room, (where they are now) taking up space, having my home in disarray, and having to be dealt with. The advantage would be that two people will be attending to this. It might be fun!

In both cases, receiving money of any sort will still be up to chance. Perhaps the leftover books could be sold on ebay in a lot. I've always wanted to try ebay selling. I certainly buy enough things there, which has got to stop if I am to continue working towards a more minimalist lifestyle. I will need to ask my brother, who sells on ebay all the time, how easy or complicated it might be.

I wonder, too, if the rejects would be a kind gift to donate to the Senior Center, or an insult. Some of those well read paperbacks might not be wanted. When I am down to the last should I donate to the thrift shop? Or just toss those rejects in the recycle bin?

In the meantime, I still have seven other shelves full of books to consider in the future! Too bad I just don't have the courage to release them through Freecycle and let someone else quickly and easily take them off my hands. Why do I want to be so responsible in dissolving my book collection? Am I simplifying my life? Is this how to become a minimalist? Is there a right way, a better way to do this?

Related posts

Part 1 - Overbooked
Part 2 - Take Some Books Off My Hands
Part 3 - Is Dreaming of Book Disposal a Nightmare?
Part 4: Stealing from the Book Store


  1. It is very difficult to sell books online. All you need to do is search on Amazon for some of the books you have, and look and see how much the used copies are selling for. In many cases, they are already available for less than $1 a book. When you consider that Amazon, eBay, and half.com (I believe) takes a 15% fee of your sale price plus an additional per-item listing or final sale fee, and they pay a limited amount for shipping, it rarely makes sense to sell a book online. Even if you can get 50 cents for it at a used bookstore, that is cash in hand with a lot less work, and you don't have to buy shipping materials or pay for shipping. I am facing the same dilemma and am planning to take three boxes of books and drop them off either at a used bookstore (not expecting to make much) or to donate them to a library or charity. It is unfortunate that society is so consumer-oriented now that printed books and music are over-produced, over-purchased and over-trashed. They just aren't valued after the newness wears off. We are going to stop buying printed copies of anything and go to digital, because I feel guilty having all this stuff and then trashing a lot of it because it is more work to try and get it to someone who might value it.

    Sorry to burst your bubble about selling on eBay! It only makes sense for items that are in demand. The best way to find out if you have something that is in demand is to sign into ebay and search their completed listings for a given item to see what it has sold for in the past. Even doing that for each item takes a lot of time, but it's the only way to ensure that you won't pay a bunch of listing fees for items that won't even sell.

  2. Thanks for the advice and facts! It's given me something to think about.

  3. I just reduced my collection of books, after decade of acquiring them. I realized the weight and space that was being devoured by them.


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