Never Donate These Books to Little Free Libraries



If your personal library has long since outgrown the bookshelves in your house, it’s probably time to pare things down. Donating old books to your local library, secondhand store, or Little Free Library is a great way to pass them on to a new home, but some books just aren’t appropriate to give away. As a donor, it’s on you to know the difference. Here are some tips that might help you decide which of your books won't be donated.

 

DON’T DONATE BOOKS THAT ARE IN REALLY ROUGH SHAPE 

Donated books don’t go straight from your tote bag to the shelf — someone has to sort through them first. All the books that are too damaged to read get thrown out, recycled, or sent out for repairs, so there’s no point in even donating them. 

 

DON’T DONATE BOOKS THAT ARE WILDLY OUT OF DATE 

Old information is useless at best and dangerous at worst, so think twice before offloading any outdated books. Reference materials like textbooks, technical manuals, how-to guides, and travel guides from years past aren’t going to be helpful today. Another problem with outdated books is that in today’s world they may be racist, sexist, or inappropriate for a variety of reasons. 

 

DON'T DONATE ARCS 

ARCs, or Advanced Review Copies, are a somewhat tricky beast. Most publishers would encourage you to recycle or discard the ARC after a book’s release, for the simple reason that the ARC is not the “final” version of the book.

 

What you can do with books you can’t donate is sell them, swap them, recycle them, or trash them. The best strategy for making sure your books end up where they belong is to think about who would actually want to read them. That will help you decide whether your books end up in the Little Free Library or the recycling bin.