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User Topic: Disposing old books
Member # 15162
Question  Posted: 10:07 PM, June 16th (Sunday)

My Dad was a voracious reader. Like one book a day. He belonged to several book of the month clubs after he retired, and his house is full of books. That's not what I'm asking about though.

One of the outbuildings is filled with boxes of books. We're talking fairly new paperback and hardcover mysteries. The problem is they've been ruined by moisture and animals. I can take them to the dump (there are no recycling facilities up there) at $50 a pickup load, or I can haul them down here, or???????

We do have a fire pit which is tempting. Any other ideas?

FBH - 42
FWW - 43 (BrokenRoad)
2 kids 7&12

The people you do your life with shape the life you live

Posts: 37256 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Michigan
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 11:07 PM, June 16th (Sunday)


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 tween-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011

Posts: 9715 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
Heartless Bytchh
Member # 12347
Default  Posted: 11:17 PM, June 16th (Sunday)

As much of a reader as I am, it hurts me to see stuff like this when it comes to books.

Maybe a yard sale and sell 'em dirt cheap?

Woodchipper pretty much trumps everything.-Rufus Turner
Sometimes I feel like SI is that person who says... "if you can't say anything nice... come sit by me!"-rumorhasit

Posts: 6063 | Registered: Oct 2006 | From: Another day in Paradise
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 1:17 AM, June 17th (Monday)

Maybe your local recycling facility? Places take paper, right?

Burning would be convenient... I would just get the heebiejeebs from like, you know... burning books.

If life is just a series of ridiculous attempts to be alive, you're a hero. - J. Winger

Posts: 17564 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
Member # 18522
Default  Posted: 2:31 AM, June 17th (Monday)

If they've been wet, then they have mold and mildew. It's best that they are disposed of or recycled.

You could try to sell the books that were stored indoors at a yard sale or donate them to your local library or Goodwill.

Me: BS
2 kids: DD15 and DS18
Him: The Assclown NPD
OW: "friend" of 15 years
Divorced! Feb. 2010

Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences.
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Posts: 7819 | Registered: Mar 2008 | From: SoCal
Member # 17210
Default  Posted: 4:43 AM, June 17th (Monday)

It's a shame they were stored outdoors. I remember an old English magazine that advocated placing bookcases along exterior walls based on the insulating value of R 1.5 per inch.

Best solution for the ones that can't be saved is to recycle them. A wood stove would also be a great solution, but I agree with Razzie about the whole book burning thing.

Your mileage may vary... in accordance with the prophecy.

Do not back up. Severe tire damage.

Posts: 14924 | Registered: Nov 2007 | From: Winnipeg
Member # 26531
Default  Posted: 7:12 AM, June 17th (Monday)

If they are full of mold and mildew than burning is probably the best solution... but I'd be careful to keep yourself and the kids away from the smoke because it could carry mold spores and make you sick.

Me: BSO - 46
Him: FWSO - 69
DS - 13
D-Day - 12-11-09,
R - he finally came home
Your life is an Occasion. Rise to it. - Mr. Magorium, "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium"

Posts: 24546 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Florida
Member # 15162
Default  Posted: 8:06 AM, June 17th (Monday)

Yeah, the ones stored inside the house aren't an issue, it's just the ones in the outbuilding. These aren't worth saving unfortunately, and we're talking several pickup loads

Thanks everyone

FBH - 42
FWW - 43 (BrokenRoad)
2 kids 7&12

The people you do your life with shape the life you live

Posts: 37256 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Michigan
Member # 25001
Default  Posted: 8:09 AM, June 17th (Monday)

Because of possible mold and mildew you can't donate them. Burning them seems to be the only solution and since you're not burning them for censorship, I think it'll be all right.

If you do burn them I would make sure you wear a face mask to you don't breath in any spores and if it's in an outside fireplace/pit could you cover it with a screen to help minimize any spores getting into the air?

Another option would be to check with your town and see if they host a town wide drop off of some sort. My town is currently having a free paper shredding day for the community. They may also know of some other drop-off place that will properly dispose of them because they are damaged and unable to be donated.

Good Luck.

Me - BS, 39 (I'm not old...I'm vintage)
Two Wonderful children - DS10, DD7
Married, for now... (4+ D-Day - listed in profile.)

Posts: 5854 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: In the darkest depths of hell!
Member # 27650
Default  Posted: 11:17 AM, June 17th (Monday)

Everytime you go shopping, a bag goes with you. Drop a few in the cans at Target, a few more at WalMart, Home Depot gets some....

FBS 54
Separated and Divorcing

Posts: 4132 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: FL
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 1:41 PM, June 17th (Monday)


I have no idea about the reliability of the site I'm stealing the following from, but it seems hopeful. Of course, if it means removing the covers from several pickup loads of moldy paperbacks, the fire sounds more and more attractive....

Except for colored and glossy paper, which might contain some toxic heavy metals, newsprint and other paper is safe to use as mulch or in compost. In fact, one study revealed that paper had less toxic material than straw or grass!


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10166 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
Member # 15334
Default  Posted: 7:51 AM, July 7th (Sunday)

just as a follow up, turns out about 21 boxes of them weren't ruined....2.5 years worth of reading in my book.

So... I asked to keep them and then donate as I (we?) read them.

Back porch and upstairs bedroom is now full of boxes of books.

Incidently, they're heavy!!

---BrokenRoad/Happy Avid Reader

{Him}FBH - 43 (WifeHad5)
{Me} FWW - 44
2 kids 7 & 12
Reconciled :)
Beauty and folly are old companions.--Benjamin Franklin

Posts: 10704 | Registered: Jul 2007 | From: Midwest
Member # 10866
Default  Posted: 5:35 PM, July 7th (Sunday)

Try posting them on freecycle or craigslist. I posted 3 boxes of books - random paper and hardbooks, fiction. I had about 50 takers in 20 minutes!

DDays 2006, and then numerous more
Divorced 2012

"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid

Posts: 15325 | Registered: Jun 2006
Member # 14003
Default  Posted: 7:44 AM, July 8th (Monday)

Senior living or assisted living facilities always need books for their libraries.

Choices, Chances, Changes.....You must make a Choice to take a Chance or your life will never Change.

Posts: 13772 | Registered: Mar 2007 | From: Houston
Topic Posts: 14