A couple of years ago, some of my dedicated readers wrote and told me they were moving. They had oodles of books they had collected over the years and really didn’t want to keep them all, but they didn’t know the “green” thing to do.

A couple of years ago, some of my dedicated readers wrote and told me they were moving. They had oodles of books they had collected over the years and really didn’t want to keep them all, but they didn’t know the “green” thing to do. I suggested they take them to a second-hand book store, which actually paid for collectible books. They wrote me the next week to tell me they had sold their books and were thrilled with the results.

I was thinking about this today, and it reminded me of when I was traveling with one of my daughters, Sarah, and she introduced me to the “sharing shelf” that many hotels, parks, and campsites offer in their lodges. This is usually a shelf or two where you can find a good book to read while you’re traveling and drop one off that you’ve finished. The books don’t belong to anyone. They just kind of travel around the globe from one pair of hands to another. It’s a very cool idea that is found in many places throughout the world (or so my well-traveled daughter tells me). It’s kind of the ultimate in recycling. I’ve found some of my favorite books on these shelves and left behind some good reads, too.

Seems like everyone could use a few extra bucks right now, so it might be a good time to go through your bookshelves and thin them out a bit. You may want to check with your local second-hand bookshop first; my guess is that they’re full up. If so, ask about restrictions for donations at your nearby library, nursing home, schools, and hospitals. You might be surprised. Several areas have adult literacy programs where donated books are welcomed.

If you have some books that are well-worn and can’t really be passed along, or have been damaged, don’t throw them out! You can recycle them in paper recycling bins. If they are hard bound, you can usually tear off the covers and recycle those in the cardboard recycling and put the rest of the book in the paper bin. Ask your recycler to be sure.

I was driving down a local highway a few months ago, and someone dropped an entire box of books on the road. They were spread all over the road and sides. They were flapping and creating quite a nuisance. I was not only worried about if they got wet they could become very slick and cause and accident, but there were so many they were quite unsightly (plus the paper was going to waste).

So, I pulled over and started pulling them off the road (thankfully, it’s not a very busy highway; somewhat rural). I would throw them in the back of my trunk and run to go get more. Funny what just one person can start! Who knows how long these books had been blowing in the wind, but I pulled over and started collecting them, next thing I know someone else pulls over to help – what a great feeling! We had almost all the books picked up in short order.

I hope I have motivated you to go through your bookshelves to see how you might reduce some books and find a way to do it Green. I know I’m headed to my numerous bookshelves with a couple of boxes!