Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Guest Blog: Author Susanna Carr + Giveaway

Free Books

By Susanna Carr



Did you just get a buzz of excitement when you saw those two words together? Did your eyes widen and your pulse quicken? If you're a die-hard reader, you probably experienced all of the above.

Not everyone feels this way, and I'm often surprised when libraries can't – or won't – accept donated books. I think it's a shame these gifts are refused because I developed a love for reading thanks to people who gave away their books.

I started reading romances at a very early age, but they were forbidden in my home and at school. No matter where I hid them, someone would find my paperbacks and confiscate or throw them away. As a kid who only made a dollar an hour babysitting, I couldn't afford this kind of punishment!

My library didn't have a lot of romance books in their system, but they did have a shelf of used paperback books the patrons donated. I don't think the library made much money off them because it was something like twenty-five cents for three novels. But they had plenty of Harlequins and that was all I needed to know to trek to the library every Saturday afternoon with coins jangling in my pocket.

I enjoyed many hours of entertainment thanks to those who gifted the library with books. These days I try to find a library to give away the books I've read, but I'm wondering if there are other places who would accept used books. Any suggestions? Where do you donate books?

Susanna is generously giving away 4 copies of her book How to Be a Wicked Woman. Sounds interesting, huh? To enter, leave a comment here with your suggestions on how to help give away free books. This contest is only one day long, so don't delay! Please make sure that you leave an email address as well so I can easily contact you if you win!

38 comments:

JC Martin said...

Places to give things away can be your place of employment; leave them in a box with take if you like. Also places that cater to the working poor or homeless people take donations in any form. Giving them to the Goodwill or Salvation Army is another.

jcoissiere(AT)comcast(DOT)net

RAnn said...

I took a box of books to work last week and got rid of about half of them. My library accepts book donations--most of them end up being sold rather than put on the shelf, but they do take them. Often Girl and Boy Scout troops will have garage sales, and you can donate them for that. Finally, if you don't mind getting something back, there are sites like http://www.bookmooch.com or http://www.swaptree.com

Stacy S said...

I usually take them to the library or try to find someone interested in reading them.

Sally said...

I threw away your books? Are YOU SURE?

Dev said...

We have a book exchange at work, or I donate them to the Friends of the Library so they can raise money for new books.

imaromancereader@gmail.com

Cindy said...

The books that I am done reading with I usually take them to the 2nd hand bookstore. I haven't done that lately as he is only looking for the newer stuff so I have been taking books to good will. Although I think my son's school will be looking for things to sale in their xmas fair so I might end up bringing them there.

Jackie B. said...

If your library doesn't want them, you can take them to the thrift stores. I do know many of the thrift stores in my area throw a lot of them away though.They just get way too many donations. Another idea is to take them to nursing homes or retirement community centers. Most of the retirement communities in my area have a room designated as a library for residents of the community. I have also put them on Freecycle and gotten rid of them that way or even Ebay. Maybe you can ask your readers if they would be willing to pay shipping if they were interested in any of them.

Dena said...

I just found out my dentist office takes them and puts them out for the patients. I told them my next visit they were getting a box full,lol. denwal1@aol.com

Alicia said...

My library does not accept donated books and it makes me so upset. So I save them up and once a year, the library does accept them for a book sale. Otherwise, I just keep my books (bad I know!)

adw7984 at gmail dot com

The Burns' said...

My school library takes a lot of my used books. We have an adult shelf where you can bring your used novels and pick up ones others have read. If I get review copies of children's books that I don't want to keep, she will take them. I also take books to 1/2 Price Books. They will usually take any used book. I don't get a lot for them, don't care to. At lease I know someone else will get use out of them. Thanks for the giveaway.
shelcows at gmail dot com

Ruby (Mouth) said...

I do the used bookstore and get credit for more, but I also like donating them to the library and also the little Neighbor donation center which in turn gives them to the senior citzens or people who can't afford them.

angelleslament @ gmail.com

Stacie said...

Any women's shelter would probably take books. I give any of our good children's book to a place where moms with chemical dependency live with their kids while in treatment. Also, assisted living/nursing homes have libraries that I bet would take your books. I also just plain pass them on to family or friends that I know would enjoy reading them!
Staciele(at)netins(dot)net

romance-author-buzz said...

Susanna, great post. I actually donate books to a nursing home near by, give some to my mom and her friends to read and I recently dropped some off to Virginia Mason hospital.

When I worked at Princess I started a library in the lunch room and I still send them books as well. I've also donated to the Sr. Center and thrift stores.

I like the idea of a women's shelter. Thanks for the suggestion. How about our women serving in the military?

Kim said...

I can validate the shelter donation. I volunteer at a women's rehab facility, and I use the books to teach a writing class once a week. It's also great discussion starters. But, it does give the women something good to keep their minds on, and gets them away from the television.

I also recently donated books to a local Christian Radio station to use for a holiday give away. They were thrilled!

The library gets tons of my stuff, but I'm seriously considering a local bookstore that gives credit for good used books toward new books. I can't believe I still have such a long wish list, but I do!

I'm also liberally sharing books with family, co-workers, you name it! I have everyone I know reading like fiends!

Kim

JC Martin said...

I forgot that the prison system will take them. They don't spend any extra money on buying books, so the inmates rely on donations. You'd be surprise how many people learn how to read while in prison.

Ramya said...

its funny that you brought this up. I was just going to blog about this. I started getting books from giveaways only recently and i already have around 30 books that i received this year.. Since I am from India and I know how tough it is to get books to read there (you need to pay to get books from the library and it is not cheap!), i have decided to send all my books to a library there..the owner has agreed to lend it to people for free.. that's my plan!:)
do enter me for your giveaway !!

ramyasbookshelf(at)gmail(dot)com

Corey Wilde said...

My libraries accept book donations, and of course so do the thrift stores (Salvation Army, for example). But last year I donated three milk crates full of history books to one of the high schools near me. I was appalled when I saw their library. For one thing they had a metal detector at the door. Sheesh! But worse was that the library was a good-sized room with plenty of shelves that were nearly bare. So if you have books that might be suitable for schools, give them a call and ask if they want them. The librarian kindly provided assistance from the student body to carry the books inside for me. The history teacher was thrilled, I think he was already dreaming up term paper assignments.

Dawn said...

Goodwill, women's shelter, nursing home, senior housing, community center. Share those books when you're done with them :) I know some libraries/charities won't take RD Condensed books or romance/Harlequin (and many don't accept magazines). Make some phone calls; you'll find a good home for them.

Callista said...

I'm not interested in the giveaway but wanted to say that I've been having the same problem. I can't afford to giveaway all the review books I read and I don't really want to just give them to the Canadian Diabetes Association or a thrift store because I'd rather give them to people who would really appreciate it. I tried donating to the library and they said they might take them, but that the person in charge of taking donations would have to look them over and that if they decided no, they would go in their constant library book sale to raise money.

I'm thinking of offering them to people online for just the price of shipping.

RebekahC said...

Our libraries here must be different than in your area because they will always take book donations. I don't know if this has always been the case though because it seems more like within the last year that I've really seen the "for sale" shelves popping up in the local libraries. I think it's a great way to share your no longer wanted books with someone who can benefit from them.

I also enjoy BookCrossing (www.bookcrossing.com) where I can trade books or even just offer them up for grabs to readers who are interested in the specific titles.

Lastly I will donate the books to GoodWill, NursingHomes, or even school libraries (depending on the content and age level of the books).

I would love to enter the book giveaway you are running now. The title definitely intrigues this bookworm!

Thanks
RebekahC
littleminx@cox.net
www.readysetreadreviews.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

hi susanna. love your books. i donate to the library, an dused book stores. give them away to friends also. gl all
thanks
kimehak@yahoo.com

Julie P. said...

I give them to friends, a "free spot" at our local library, Goodwill and Salvation Army!

Susan said...

I give them to a group home for recovering drug addicts. They really appreciate them.

photoquest said...

How to be a wicked woman sounds awesome!!! see it wasn't hard getting me to want a free book!!
We have a free cycle in our are you can sign up on the internet and offer things for free, also the local paper anything under 200.00 is free to put a ad in the paper anything free is a free ad anyway. Posting a message on Facebook, putting a flyer us at grocery stores. Goodwill and salvation army are great at christmas to drop off books.
please enter me photoquest(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Ronnica said...

It's not quite giving them away, but at least they'll find a home where they'll be better loved: Paperback Swap. I have "given away" several books that I simply don't want, but of course I've also received several that I have wanted. I would feel guilty throwing them away.

Crystal M. said...

Some of these have been mentioned already but I donate most of mine to the local thrift store. I've tried the library but as others have said, I was turned down. I've also donated a lot of Christian books to churches that have libraries. I was the librarian for our church a few years ago and loved when people donated books. I was on a very small budget and every little bit helped.
~Crystal M.
olenapena{at}sbcglobal{dot}net

Hagelrat said...

I usually take them to charity shops, I figure theyu do the most good there, readers get cheap books and the charity makes a few pence.

Nise' said...

My Library has a store called Cheapstacks where they sell donated books. I have found some great oldies there!

I Heart Book Gossip said...

I usually donate them to the library!

Tarasview said...

I give books away on my blog, to friends, as gifts, to our local school libraries, to charities that distribute Christmas hampers (include a book in the hamper- kid's books are always welcomed).

BoxingKing said...

I'm shocked to hear that a library won't accept give-away books, even just for resale. Huh. That's where I always give mine, so not too many ideas here. Perhaps an orphanage, shelter, or simply a used book store. Goodwill or Savers would take them. At worst case scenario, leave it in a coffee shop. :)

Sue A. said...

I keep the books I've received from authors. But I know I have the option of someday of donating them to my library for their twice a year book sale, which I go to twice a year. And I sometimes take my book sale purchases to a second hand bookstore to trade them for the ones I really want.

westcobich said...

Amy, Slightly off topic here but you do such a great job getting the word out that I wanted to alert you to a book giveaway on my blog relating to October and breast cancer awareness. Go to http://westcobich.wordpress.com/2008/10/28/book-giveaway/ to read up on it and enter. Thanks for letting anyone and everyone know about it!

I am still enjoying the books I won thanks to you during BBAW!

darbyscloset said...

My husband hunts outside of a small town in Western KS; a very small town. When we go out there to visit his "land owners" (people who own property and allow him to hunt on it; "hunt"=birds), we take our gentley used/read books and donate them to the library in town. It is very surprising how long it takes this library to receive a "new release", and being that both my husband and I are avid readers I know our efforts are appreciated. Anyone looking for a small library to donate to, I'd be happy to share the address!
Darby
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

windycindy said...

Our library has a special "shop" for used books and the money goes to the "Friends of the Library" Organization. Their members run the fun little shop. There are bookmarks, and other fun trinkets to purchase besides great books. Also, retirement centers and the like enjoy receiving books and magazines. Thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

tetewa said...

When I'm done with my books I either give them to friends who are interested in them or take them to my local library! tWarner419@aol.com

Susan said...

I give them to a group home for recovering drug addicts. They really appreciate them.

I forgot to leave my email address. *duh*
schaballa[at]echoes[dot]net

ReadingRobin said...

I do Paperback Swap. I love getting to know other Christian readers and I get a thrill when I get a book that was on my wish list, so I think others must get the same feeling when I grant their wish!
cmrobin [at] bellsouth [dot} net

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