What to do with Books once you have finished them?




So what should you do with books once they are read? Do you keep them? Throw them? Sell them? (Referring to paperbacks not E-books of course) Personally no matter if I hated the book I have a ridiculously hard time letting them go, which doesn’t really bode well for you know space to fill up with books that I have really enjoyed. It also has resulted in me having a multitude of books that I haven’t even touched just because they tend to get hidden behind others, so what can you do with books once you’ve finished with them?


Well I guess the first most obvious choice would be to keep them, build up your collection and have your very own personal library. This is something I do hope to have one day, just a room dedicated to books and of course an awesome reading nook to hide away in! This is not always practical though especially if you know your just never gonna read a certain book again.


Donate or sell, I’m not sure where you are but there are a few charity shops around my area that will gladly take used books, they also tend to sell books at a quite a cheap rate too so it’s easy to pick up a few more for your collection while your there. Selling is another option, although the books to tend to loose a fair amount of their value, you can always use any money you get back to buy more books!


Start you own book swap/community library. Now something that was started by my lovely community lately was our own very community library, now this is basically a little wooden bookshelf, which is of course enclosed against weather which is located in between a number of small shops. Anyone can go and get a book from the library, with the expectation that you will swap one for others to read. This leads to a ever changing rotation of books that everyone has access too! Starting your own may be hard but if you know a group of bookworms in your area this may be a great idea to get together and swap a few books. There is of course people who leave there books in a number of random places so someone is able to find and gain a new book.


Re-purpose them. There are so many arts and crafts that way more creative people than me have come up with, all of which turn you old read book into something new and exciting! These range from origami to clutch handbags to making your own paper. There are so many options! Now I am more than a little tempted to have a go at some of these at a later date but if anyone has done any let me know I would love to know how they went.


Re-gift them. Okay you probably can’t pass it off as a brand new book you have gone out and bought, but they could be gifted just as a ‘I was thinking of you’ present, or a ‘you need to read this book so I can talk about it with someone’ present. Maybe even a sorry I did something silly present. The possibilities are endless and you may end up with someone who either loves or hates the book as much as you. At the very least if they read it you will have something to discuss!

What do you do with books after you have finished them? Let me know!


52 thoughts on “What to do with Books once you have finished them?

  1. I donate to charity shops the ones that I dislike and probably won’t read again or can’t be passed onto friends and then keep the rest! As you’ve said this also means I get to drop in and browse for more to add to my collection so it’s a win-win situation! ๐Ÿ™‚ Great post!

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  2. I usually donate the books that I donโ€™t like but Iโ€™ve also started using the book swap shelf thatโ€™s recently appeared in my office space at university. Itโ€™s a great idea and lots of people use it!

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  3. Nice post ๐Ÿ™‚ And depends a bit what I do with my books. The ones I really love I keep, others I give away to either a charity shop or I leave them at one of the book swop points in my area. I notice that I really prefer to have a book collection which only consists of books I actually LOVED reading. That realization did help with donating books.

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  4. Well I have a FBpage set up for swaps (@bookwormsdream) but I usually leave a good deal of books in a Little Free Library or somewhere in the wild and let a FB group of ‘Bookhunters’ know. I keep my 4+ and 5 star reads though and I’ve read quite a few great books last year so my library keeps growing.

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  5. All great suggestions! I usually only buy books that I’ve already read and know I will love enough to reread. It’s why my book collection is so small! However, if I buy a book on a whim and don’t like it, I usually donate it or give it to someone who I think might enjoy it more than me.

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      1. It’s hard to do for sure, especially when there are such enticing books out there! I try to use my library resources as much as possible, including the online system that my library has. It means waiting a bit longer for the newest books but it saves me a lot of money.

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      2. Kindle unlimited is a pretty good option! I’m still hesitant about using it because I know I will go overboard getting more books and then never get to reading it ๐Ÿ˜ถ๐Ÿ˜ถ

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      3. Not gonna lie there have been a few times I have gone on a bit if a spree and just ended up leaving most, but I have definetly tried a few new books I probably wouldn’t of otherwise

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      4. I’m glad that works for you! I’ve been following a bunch of bookstagram accounts and getting book inspirations from there so that’s how I’m trying to read new books. Of course, now I’m overwhelmed beyond belief and my course work is falling behind…. but I can’t resist the books!!!

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  6. I have a designated shelf for books I love and will definitely read again. That is the determining factor–if I will I take the time to read it again. There are some books I love but know I probably won’t give a repeat read because the spoiler will ruin the experience. That is actually why I started writing reviews–to remind myself what the books were about and whether or not I enjoyed them.

    I visit a used bookstore in my area that sells books at a great price and gives sellers a fair price when bringing books in (that’s hard to find). They also do a lot for the homeless in the community, so I like to give them business. I do end up donating a number to the food bank where I volunteer as well. I know which ones the food bank clients will take; the rest go to the bookstore.

    One question I have for you and your readers is what to do with ebooks you’ve read but didn’t really love. I feel kind of sick about just deleting them, but maybe that’s what we are supposed to do. I get so many free downloads it seems kind of silly to hang onto everything after they’ve been read. What do you do?

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    1. It’s great you found a bookstore that gives a great price and help the homeless in your community!

      Ahhh ebooks are a whole other problem! I do normally just delete them, if I really didn’t enjoy the book, I totally get the kind of sick feeling though, it does tend to feel wasteful as there just ‘gone’

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  7. I pretty much keep all of mine. Most that I like- even reasonably I do end up rereading at some point or other. I do keep planning to give away the ones I didn’t really like but haven’t done that yet either- some years ago I did ‘exchange’ some books I had multiple copies of at a second hand shop which gave me others in return ๐Ÿ™‚

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  8. I sold most of my books on eBay tbh. Now that I have earned some money, I can either buy more books or purchase some Star Wars merch. ๐Ÿ˜‚

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  9. Oh, I think the idea of repurposing books hurts my heart. *clutches chest* All those poor books, *mutilated*. I feel faint…

    I have a library in my house, full of so many books that I often surprise myself with what I own. I try to donate them, though, mostly to the local library, who either uses them or sells them. Or I give them to people if I know I have something they’ve been wanting to read.


  10. This is an excellent question, given that our house is rapidly silting up… Both of us are book lovers and we have been living here for over 20 years. While I have largely moved across to reading ebooks, I still do get a handful of physical books and frankly, there just isn’t enough room for them… I want to box them up and donate them to local charity shops – but Himself isn’t so keen as he is a rereader. I think we will both one day be found under a mountain of books, having been squashed flat:)

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      1. Hm. I would be reasonably happy to be crushed to death by a Terry Pratchett, Emma Newman or N.K. Jemisin – but wouldn’t it be awful if the book that finally did for you was by an author you didn’t like very much?


  11. Interesting post. I keep it with myself. I feel so complete when adding a book to my collection. I do not prefer sharing since I have bad experiences with lending books. No book came back to me in good condition. So I have stopped to lend nowadays. Anyway, I tell my husband to donate the books to any orphange when I am no more.. but I guess thats gonna take another 30-40 years๐Ÿ™ˆ

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  12. I keep too many. I give some away to friends or charity shops. Julia uses a few for crafts (like making “hedgehogs”, though it always seems wrong) and some I just carry around in the back of the car until I pass somewhere suitable to give them away.

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