What to do With Leftover College Textbooks After You Graduate

You finished your college career, and now you’re moving into your new apartment off campus. You still have all of those old college textbooks, and you don’t know what to do with them. There may be nothing wrong with the books, but let’s face it–they take up a ton of space. Plus, they’re generally pretty heavy. When you’re living in a smaller area, you need all of the extra space that you can get. If you aren’t planning on keeping them, then there are a few options out there for you.

  1. Sell Them: Who doesn’t want to make some cash! Plus, those books cost a pretty penny, so it can’t hurt to try and get a little bit back out of them. You can post your own listing on places like Facebook Marketplace, Let Go, or eBay. You can also sell them back to companies who buy back old books. You can look to Chegg, AbeBooks, Amazon, and Textbooks.com. Check with one of the buy back companies before you decide to sell them on your own. You may get a better deal from the buy back companies. Plus, it’s extra effort and time on your end to sell them off one by one on online postings. Old editions and books that are in poor condition may not be bought back for much money.
  2. Donate Them: Local libraries and other mom and pop bookstores are always looking for donations. If you can’t seem to get rid of the book by selling it, then maybe it can go to better use by donating it. There’s still great information in those pages, and it can go to benefit someone else. Check with the bookstore to see if they would be willing to give you some store credit for donating books to them. You never know! It could end up giving you some extra funds to spend on new books that you want.
  3. Recycle Them: If a local library or bookstore aren’t interested in your books, then take them to a nearby recycling center. There are drop spots around town that are designated for paper products only. Even if your books have hard covers, you can put them in these paper deposits to become turned back into pulp. They can have a second life as a new book when you have them recycled.
  4. Upcycle Them: Old textbooks are excellent for DIY projects and crafts. You can turn old books into knife blocks by binding several books together and putting the blade through the pages. Instead of wooden shelves, you can make a shelf out of large textbook. Put the brackets up on the wall, and lay the book flat with the spine facing out to give you a creative new shelf. Or, you can cut the pages from the book to make collages and decorate surfaces.

Let go of your old textbooks that you aren’t going to use, but before you chunk them, think about how else they can be used. Some people may still need them, and you can get some money from them. If not, then they can go on to live a second life through recycling or upcycling. Old books don’t have to be in the way. They can be a great addition to the room, only repurposed to become part of the design.

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