Do you have too many books? I know I do. When I retired and downsized to a condo, I divided my book collection between the condo and a summer home with enough to fill multiple bookcases in each building. I even built a bookcase into a closet in the condo.
Some of you might be saying you can never have too many books, but why keep books you have already read and don’t intend to read again?
Okay, you might keep some books for professional, religious or family reasons, and if you have one signed by a famous author, you might be thinking about passing it on to your children or grandchildren. But what about those books you read so long ago you can’t remember what they were about?
I’ve been trying to pare down my collection by selling books on Amazon. I would have preferred selling them to a used book store, but when I showed up at our local used book retailer with a couple of boxes full, I was sent home without their taking a single one.
Selling on Amazon is not easy. You have to price in the fact that they take a hefty cut and you have to cover the cost of mailing the book out of their set allowance. Popular books sell thousands of copies and therefore result in hundreds of used ones being sold for pennies. It’s hardly worth your time unless you’re running a used bookstore.
You might have some luck if you have books with a small but active audience––like playing go, astrology or home beer brewing.
I signed up for the community wide garage sale where we have our summer home this past weekend. I put together three boxes of gently-read books that I thought people might be interested in reading. I set the price for both hardcover and paperback at $3 for one, $5 for two.
Guess how many I sold? That’s right. Zero.
I used to tell my wife that I sell books on Amazon to pay for my book purchases. Of course, if you buy a hardcover for $24.95 plus tax and postage and only make a dollar on selling a used book, it doesn’t take a sixth-grader to figure out how many sales you need to make to cover the cost of your new one.
I’ve come up with a new justification with having too many books. If I got rid of most of them, including the bookshelves, we’d have to buy some expensive artwork to fill the empty wall space. Do you think my wife will buy that logic? No, I don’t either.