Saturday, June 30, 2018
What to do with those books you will never read again
Donate them – When most people think about getting rid of any unwanted items that they no longer need, the first place they think of is St Vincent de Paul or the Salvation Army. And while both of these places are great, and do some excellent work for the community, there are plenty of other places that accept second-hand goods and the donations go to some very good causes. Organisations such as the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation, which helps indigenous children gain access to education through literacy, and Books for Lesotho, which takes the donated books over to students in Southern Africa are great examples of other places that are always accepting donations. These organisations, and many others like them are great causes to get behind, and you’ll feel like you’re really making a difference by giving them your unwanted books. Local libraries are also another great place to donate to, and they are often on the lookout for new and different books to add to their collections.
Give to a Community Street Library – In most big cities and suburban areas, you may stumble across little wooden houses full of books out the front a local school or community centre. These little houses are known as community or street libraries, and they allow the community to engage with each other through the donating and swapping of books. Most of them have a clear glass window at front and a door that opens and closes to allow people to come and go with ease, as well as being able to protect the books from the weather and any other external forces. As mentioned, you can leave your own books in the library, or you can take a book with you. This is a great way to get rid of your old books that you no longer want and gives others who may not be able to afford new books the opportunity to take them for free. The Street Library website shows you the locations of some of the community libraries in your local area, so you know where to go to donate.
Recycle them – Because books are made from paper, it is easy for them to be broken down and made into new items of a similar fashion and even be printed on again. Most old books are made from high-quality paper, and not made of mixed materials like that of a magazine or a catalogue. According to Planet Ark, a non-for-profit environmental foundation in Australia, paper can be recycled up to 8 times, and it can be repurposed into things like packaging, toilet rolls, and egg cartons, all of which can still be broken down fairly easy over time, and even reused again another time. There are plenty of recycling centres throughout most major cities in Australia that accept donations like books for recycling which are supported by Planet Ark. This is another great way of repurposing old and unwanted books to be used in a more positive an environmentally conscious way. They also sell the books that are in better condition at some of their repurposing centres, with the profits going to local charities and hospitals.
Sell them – If you’re a little bit strapped for cash, another thing you can do with your old books is to sell them. Bountye is a website that helps you find and sell second-hand and vintage goods online from multiple third-party websites. We live in an age where we are concerned with the mass-production of objects, we need to find solutions to try and reduce our carbon footprint significantly in order to continue to live happy and healthy lives. We’re always being told to reduce, reuse and recycle, and Bountye works hand in hand with this idea by repurposing old and unwanted items. At Bountye they “think buying second-hand stuff should be as easy as buying something new” and this is a great idea because if you don’t want something anymore, someone else may. They also have an app available on the App Store and Google Play, so you can do your buying and selling on the go.
Repurpose them - Although it goes against the grain for most people to defile an old and beloved book, there are many ways in which you can recycle your old and unwanted books and turn them into something completely different. One ever-popular project that uses an old book is the ‘book-safe’, in which you glue the pages of your book together and then hollow out the middle of it to use as a safe, which can store some of your valuables and hide them from unsuspecting guests in plain sight. Using an old hardcover book, you can also make some interesting bookmarks. All you have to do is cut off the spine of an old hardcover book and pierce a hole in one of the ends for a ribbon or some string, and you have a lovely custom-made bookmark. Also, this activity doesn’t destroy your book too much, so you won’t feel as guilty about doing this project compared to some of the others out there that use books. In saying that, both projects are a great way to repurpose the books that you once loved and allow them to continue to be used in a positive way in your home.