Recently I have gotten into flipping my books for profit/credit at an area bookstore and I can’t tell you how good it has been for me! Not only has this forced me to go through my books, but it has given me a chance to pick up some new books with the trade in of my old. I know not everyone has access to bookstores where they can do this, so I want to give some other ideas as well!
Bookstore Buy Back
Starting with the most obvious here, the bookstore buy back. I 10/10 recommend giving this a go if this is something available at any bookstore in your area. Not only are you helping out a local bookstore by bringing in stock, but you in turn can turn your books into either cash or store credit. I always opt for store credit at our area bookstore since it is higher. This is something I had tried prior to Covid and just got back into it 2 weeks ago. Our bookstore limits you to bringing in 25 books up to once a week. It’s very limited but I am in my 3rd week of doing this and it has been so incredibly beneficial. I have been able to get sketchbooks, sweatshirts and of course books with my credits and have loved that!
Free Little Library
This is another great option if you don’t have any book buy backs in your area. The great thing about Little Free Libraries is that there are SO many of these so you can act as a book fairy dropping off books, but along the way you can search for free treasures in each of these. I have done this before with my husband driving me around town to all of the Little Free Libraries. It is so incredibly fun to find something you have been searching for, but it also feels so good to drop things off. No matter where you are you can find one of these libraries and they are such an easy way to offload books and search for that perfect addition for your own shelf.
This is something that I have actually done as a bookseller, but it was a great way to get some side money and pay for my book addiction! I sold all of my new-ish books on Mercari (as that’s where most of that traffic was), but my vintage and rare books mostly went to my Etsy shop. Now both of these “shops” have fees attached to them, so I would recommend pricing your books to cover these, but if you do that leaves you with a nice profit for new books! I would definitely say Mercari is set up easier to handle sales via phone, but Etsy is more professional and helpful for a seller. If you haven’t used any online store before, start with Mercari and give it a whirl. This is a great way to get old books off your shelves and new books onto them! I got a lot of side cash from these over the last two years that not only goes to my books but trips as well!
No matter what you do or how you go about consuming new books, I think it can be so incredibly beneficial to go through our own shelves. As much as I would like to keep and hoard all the books, I think it’s also okay to move on from books we won’t go back to or even books we didn’t enjoy that sit taking up space on our shelves. When we do that we not only free up that shelf space, but we make room for new books and stories in our lives!