After you have finished school, sixth form college and university, it is likely that you find yourself with textbooks that you no longer need. If this is the case then I recommend you read this article, in which I will explain what you should do with your old textbooks.
The three main paths that you can take are: selling textbooks that are in a good state, donating textbooks that are in a good to alright condition and recycling textbooks which are in a bad state.
If you choose to sell them, then there are certain ways and platforms which I will recommend you sell them from. Likewise, there are certain places and charities which could do with any book donations you can make. As for recycling textbooks, there are many different ways in which you can do so. You will find that typical recycling is not as simple a process as you may initially think, it is still very easy and is beneficial to the planet if done correctly.
If you have any old textbooks that you would like to rid yourself off, then read on as I explain the three things that you should probably do with them. Let’s get into it!
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Sell Old Textbooks to Earn Some Quick Cash
If your books are in very good condition, then you will be able to sell them on to a student looking to study the course that you have completed. Any textbooks that have barely been used will be especially great to sell. Plenty of people are willing to buy textbooks which have a few signs of being used (such as some minor creasing, or some notes made in margins).
Different Ways to Sell Your Textbooks
You could sell them locally by advertising them on a community Facebook page, or you could send a large school email to the students in the years below you in case any of them are looking for textbooks. Alternatively, you could sell them on Amazon or eBay, in order to reach out to people living further away from you.
If you are struggling to find people who would like to buy your textbooks, then it may be easier to simply sell them to a company, such as We Buy Books, which goes on to sell them to customers. All you have to do is enter the ISBN number (the number by the barcode), and they will give you the estimated value of the book. Once you have added all the textbooks that you will be selling to them, you can print a postage label and send it to them (for free!). As soon as they are received, they will check the quality and send the money straight into your account!
A more fun way compared to the previous options that I have given you is hosting a local book sale! All you need to do is find a small venue, invite your friends, family, neighbours, and anyone else who is interested. Make some signs which show the prices of your books, and (if possible) provide some tea and small cakes. You could even ask other people in your community to bring along some of their own books to sell in order to turn it into more of an event.
Donate Your Textbooks to Help Others
Perhaps your books are not in premium condition but are still usable. If that is the case, then I highly recommend that you donate them in order to help the community. Below I will discuss a few different ways you could donate your textbooks.
Libraries and Charity Shops
Libraries usually accept lightly worn and used textbooks (but they do prefer books that are in almost new condition), so they are definitely a great place to try to donate to.
If your old textbooks are not perhaps in the best condition, but are still suitable to read from and use, then you can always drop them off at a local charity shop which can then sell them for a small price in order to aid a good cause.
Donate Your Books Online
You could send your textbooks to an ‘online’ charity such as Better World Books, which sells both new and used books on the internet, and then donates some of their profits to generate funds for literacy and education initiatives all over the world. They have locations within the United Kingdom where you can drop off your textbooks, but if there is not one near you, then you can always post your textbooks to them.
If you are a university student, then you can donate your books to Book Harvest who then trade the books. This gives a share of the profit to Book Aid International (a charity that aims to help students across the globe to have access to the reading materials that they require to move up in the world).
Any books that they cannot trade will be recycled properly (they will remove the pages from the spine which is coated in the glue used to bind the book together which makes the section unrecyclable).
Book Aid Africa is another great place to send your old textbooks! They will send all books that are in good condition to various locations within Africa to help students to learn. All you have to do is drop off your books to their warehouse in Sunderland.
Recycle Your Textbooks to Help the Environment
If your old textbooks are completely falling apart and are in no state to be reused, then their lives as guides have come to their end and it means that it is time to recycle them. Despite what you may be thinking, there are actually many different ways to recycle your textbooks.
Can Textbooks Go in Your Recycling Bin?
The first option is typical recycling whereby you send them off to be turned to pulp and be made into a new product. Although some old books can be recycled, you cannot put them into your household recycling bin as many books can cause problems in the recycling stages due to the glue, string and other materials that are used to bind them together (this is especially the case with hardback books).
Due to the time-consuming job of ripping out the pages from the spine, many recyclers will simply throw any books that they receive into landfill waste. If you have the time and energy to do so, then you can always tear the pages out, ensuring that there is no glue on them, meaning that you can add the paper to your recycling bin.
However, if you do not do this then I am afraid to say that you will simply have to throw them into your household waste. Try to only do this if your textbooks are in the worst condition and so are unusable (for example if there are torn and missing pages).
Recycling Your Textbooks, Yourself
Next up is turning your old textbooks into new items yourself! You could cut them up and make paper chains of varying shapes and lengths, or banners for a party. You could even use pages as wrapping paper for small gifts. Make simple name tags to tie onto gifts, or perhaps you might fold pages to create these adorable dresses (the first of the ten ideas from this video). These could then be glued onto a card as a fun little project that will be perfect to send to a loved one!
For a larger, more creative project you may wish to take on the task of creating paper flowers (which in turn could be glued together to make a wreath). I recommend that you follow along to a YouTube tutorial to achieve the best results.
Another idea is taking your old textbooks and hollowing them to use as a hidden storage place! You could save sweets for those long study sessions, or even hide secrets that you want to stay, well, secret!
The final crafting option that I will leave you with is upcycling any old textbook into a custom journal. It doesn’t matter if your textbooks are covered in scribbles or have torn pages because you get to cover that all up in order to create beautiful books filled with memories.
Tips on What to Do With Your Old Textbooks
I just want to mention that I highly recommend that you try to sell your books first and foremost. This is because you (or your parents/guardian) will have spent a lot of money buying them, and this way you can at least get some money back.
If this is not possible or you would just prefer to, then try to donate your books to whichever charity you prefer. This way you can aid students’ learning in a simple way. I definitely think that it is best to try to send them to one of the charities which aims to help students in poorer areas of our world to get access to textbooks and other educational books.
As a last resort, you should then look to recycle your textbooks. There are plenty of different book related crafts on the internet if you have not found a project on this article that appeals to you.
So, there you have it! The three things that you should probably do with your old textbooks! Now go sort them out!