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Book disposal

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LoobyG
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Location: Derbyshire, UK

Post by LoobyG » Fri October 8th, 2010, 4:23 pm

[quote=""Michy""]I may be the only exception. My mom is a hoarder, so that has cured me for life. Every time I visit her place, I come home, look around my house, and ask, ok, what can I get rid of?[/quote]

Lol! :D My parents are terrible hoarders themselves and my mum's a bookdealer who keeps her stock at home, so their house is like one extended library with a lot of crockery thrown in. It's my boyfriend's greatest fear that our house will become the same, hence why he's always surreptitiously trying to get me to cull my books!

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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Fri October 8th, 2010, 6:14 pm

[quote=""Michy""]I may be the only exception. My mom is a hoarder, so that has cured me for life. Every time I visit her place, I come home, look around my house, and ask, ok, what can I get rid of?[/quote]

I know the feeling. I have a dear friend who is a hoarder. His apartment is literally (and I do mean literally, not figuratively!) filled from top to bottom with stuff with a couple of corridors to lead to the kitchen and bathroom. He has to clear space every night to sleep. It's mostly books and magazines, but also clothes and electronics. I helped him pick out a computer CPU one day and we lugged it home to set up. His current monitor didn't work with it. I looked around and found FIVE (:eek :) monitors teetering on the tops of stacks and piles. Who knows how many others were buried out of sight! I promised myself that the move from a two-bedroom Manhattan apartment to a rambling Brooklyn Victorian was not an excuse to give up my twice-yearly culling of books, clothes and electronics. Thank goodness for Freecycling!
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Michy
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Post by Michy » Fri October 8th, 2010, 8:47 pm

[quote=""fljustice""]I know the feeling. I have a dear friend who is a hoarder. His apartment is literally (and I do mean literally, not figuratively!) filled from top to bottom with stuff with a couple of corridors to lead to the kitchen and bathroom. He has to clear space every night to sleep. It's mostly books and magazines, but also clothes and electronics. I helped him pick out a computer CPU one day and we lugged it home to set up. His current monitor didn't work with it. I looked around and found FIVE (:eek :) monitors teetering on the tops of stacks and piles. Who knows how many others were buried out of sight! I promised myself that the move from a two-bedroom Manhattan apartment to a rambling Brooklyn Victorian was not an excuse to give up my twice-yearly culling of books, clothes and electronics. Thank goodness for Freecycling![/quote]

My mom's brother and his wife are like your friend. It's absolutely awful. Mom is not quite that bad -- thank goodness, because she's bad enough!!! The stuff she keeps is literally junk. But to try and make her get rid of anything is so emotionally traumatic that I gave up years ago. For me, it's just not worth the stress. I don't go to her house that often and when I do, I just try not to notice too much. And I surreptitiously throw away small things that I think she won't notice. (Right! HA!) And whenever she offers to give my sister or I anything we TAKE IT! All of it! Even if we bring it home and dump it straight into the trash!!!! (Have to admit, sister is better at this than I am. It goes against my grain to take stuff that I don't want, I am having to train myself. ;) )
Last edited by Michy on Fri October 8th, 2010, 8:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
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Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri October 8th, 2010, 9:04 pm

Yeah, I'm with you there. My Mom was a young adult during the great depression, and she has a very hard time getting rid of anything. But she will give it away if she thinks somebody needs it, so besides carting things away myself, I find places to use her surplus. Thank goodness Los Angeles is so close to Mexico, where there are needs aplenty.

My sister-in-law is a teacher, and she has managed to take all Mom's old plastic containers and egg crates under the guise of needing them for 'craft supplies'.

And my bookseller friend and I made a special run just to crate up Mom's books, most of which were completely worthless. Now if we could somehow convince her to let go of the old 78 rpm record collection...

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Post by Ash » Sat October 9th, 2010, 6:25 pm

There is something of a mental illness with hoarding; take a look at the show on A&E called Hoarders. It shows family members at their wits end over how to care for their hoarder who has made the home unliveable. Therapists come in and help the hoarder slowly make some headway. The show is very sympathetic to the hoarders as they try to help. Watching it always makes me realize that my clutter isn't that bad.

http://www.aetv.com/hoarders/index.jsp

laktor
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Post by laktor » Sat October 9th, 2010, 7:27 pm

Well, got rid of a few hardbacks and paperbacks today. Unfortunately, not a pleasant experience. Took them to a used bookstore I'd only been in once before. I didn't expect to get much cash for them, maybe $5 or $10 bucks...pocket change. But the owner/clerk was extremely rude. After seeing what I had, which included hardbacks such as World Without End by Ken Follett, Maureen McCormick's Here's The Story, and a couple of others, plus paperbacks in almost pristine condition from authors such as Edward Rutherfurd and Bryce Courtney, he said he doesn't sell hardbacks because nobody wants them and that my books were junk and worthless. I said excuse me, you don't have to be so rude. I've never brought in books to a used bookstore before, but a huge sign that covered the entire window said "we buy books" and there are lots of paperbacks in the store. He then said "Don't bring me your garbage!" Gee, what a racket they have going there. They obviously don't buy anyone's books. They just get them free from people who, like me, come into the store hoping to dump books they've read for just small pocket change (which they won't get), and most people will still just leave their books there anyway. Heck, if they call my books garbage (top selling novels in great condition) and won't give me even a nickel for them, then why do they have a store full of paperback novels? If they won't buy my novels, then they sure as heck didn't buy any of the books they are selling in their store! And, by the way, I had to wait in quite a line before seeing the clerk. They were very busy selling books! Oh, and on my way out, he noticed my copy of "Fall of Giants" by Ken Follett that I had with me to read at lunch and said if I finish it in 4 months, he'd buy it for a few bucks...but not much because he said people won't pay more than half the cover price. After 4 months, he said forget it because people would want the paperback...but we all know there won't be a paperback edition in just 4 months AND you could look in every used bookstore in the city and you won't find this hardback now because it would be snatched up so fast! And why would he buy it from me since he said he doesn't stock hardbacks?

My advice? Stay away from used book stores if you're getting rid of your old books! And books are pretty much worthless once they've left the shelf of a bookstore. The depreciation in value is much worse than a new car when it leaves the lot!
Last edited by laktor on Sun October 10th, 2010, 5:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Michy
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Post by Michy » Sat October 9th, 2010, 11:18 pm

I think maybe you just had a bad experience with a bad bookseller. It's been a loooooong time since I've bought and sold books to a used bookstore, but I did it regularly for a while and so I know there are legit dealers out there. It sounds like this particular store does have a sort of racket going on, as you say -- they disparage your books so that you'll get disgusted and just leave them, anyway. Reminds me of the ploys used when buying a used car -- you never let on that you love the car, you kick the tires, act like you don't really want it, etc. -- all just to get the seller to lower the price. I would just try a different bookstore next time.

That being said, they typically don't pay much for books. Back when I used to frequent these stores, the normal practice was they buy the books for 1/4 of the cover price and sell them for 1/2 of the cover price. So you're not going to get a lot for your books, but it's something.

And don't be surprised if they won't buy all of your books, even if you go to a better bookstore next time. They know what types of books their customers buy, and if what you have isn't that type then they probably won't buy it (although they won't be so rude as to call them "garbage"). And what he said about hardbacks may be true -- you don't usually see a lot of hardbacks in these types of stores, it's mostly paperbacks, so it's likely that they don't have a lot of demand for them and hence don't buy many of them.

Hope you have a better experience next time!
Last edited by Michy on Sat October 9th, 2010, 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Margaret
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Post by Margaret » Sat October 9th, 2010, 11:28 pm

laktor, if you're in the U.S., try Powell's Books. They have an online form where you can enter the ISBN numbers of all the books you would like to sell, and they will tell you online which ones they will buy and how much they will pay. Then you box up the books they want (assuming you still want to sell them) and mail them in.

Whenever I hear about a hoarder, I think "There but for the grace of god..." It's hard for me to get rid of stuff, because I always think I might find a use for it sometime. Plus, I hate to throw stuff away if it could be reused or recycled, if not by me, by someone. I did get rid of lots of stuff when I moved from a house to an apartment last month, though. A lot went to Goodwill (clothes especially), a lot into the recycling bin. After a bunch of ARCs went out in the recycling bin as paper, I read on the Metro website that they can't be recycled as regular paper because of the glues in the binding. :( They can be brought to a center for recycling, but since I don't drive, that's not going to happen.

Now I have caught the downsizing bug, and more will go. I'm really enjoying my apartment. :)
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Miss Moppet
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Post by Miss Moppet » Sat October 9th, 2010, 11:34 pm

I doubt that store will be in business in 4 months if they treat their customers and business contacts as rudely as they did you, laktor.

If you take the books to a charity, can you get a receipt to claim against tax? That way the books would save you money even if they don't make you money. You can't do this in the UK but I've heard you can in other countries.

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boswellbaxter
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Post by boswellbaxter » Sat October 9th, 2010, 11:54 pm

[quote=""Miss Moppet""]I doubt that store will be in business in 4 months if they treat their customers and business contacts as rudely as they did you, laktor.

If you take the books to a charity, can you get a receipt to claim against tax? That way the books would save you money even if they don't make you money. You can't do this in the UK but I've heard you can in other countries.[/quote]

In the US you can.
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