As we transition through the different chapters of our lives, we often find the need to declutter our homes. Whenever gardeners get rid of used items to make room for new, the question of what to do with old garden books often arises. If you find reselling reading material to be too much of a hassle, consider gifting or donating used gardening books.
Old Gardening Book Uses
As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. You might try gifting used gardening books to your gardening friends. Gardening books you’ve outgrown or no longer want might be exactly what another gardener is seeking.
Do you belong to a garden club or community garden group? Try wrapping up the year with a gift exchange featuring gently used gardening books. Add to the excitement by making it a white elephant exchange where participants can “steal” one another’s gifts.
Try gifting used gardening books by including a “Free Books” box at your club’s next plant sale. Include one at your yearly garage sale or set one near the curb. Consider asking the proprietor of your favorite greenhouse or gardening center if they’d add a “Free Books” box to their counter as a resource for their customers.
How to Donate Garden Books
You might also consider gifting used gardening books to various organizations which accept these types of donations. Many of these non-profits resell the books to generate income for their programs.
When donating used gardening books, it’s advisable to call the organization first to confirm what types of book donations they will accept. NOTE: Due to Covid-19, many organizations are not currently accepting book donations, but may again in the future.
Here’s a list of possible organizations to check out when you’re trying to figure out what to do with old garden books:
- Friends of the Library – This group of volunteers work out of local libraries to collect and resell books. Gifting used gardening books can generate income for library programs and purchasing new reading material.
- Master Gardeners Program – Working out of the local extension office, these volunteers help educate the public on gardening practices and horticulture.
- Thrift stores – Consider donating used gardening books to Goodwill or the Salvation Army stores. Reselling donated items helps fund their programs.
- Prisons – Reading benefits inmates in many ways, but most book donations need to be made through a prison literacy program. These can be located online.
- Hospitals – Many hospitals accept donations of gently used books for their waiting rooms and for reading material for patients.
- Church rummage sales – The proceeds of these sales are often used to fund the church’s outreach and educational programs.
- Little Free Library – These volunteer-sponsored boxes are popping up in many areas as a way to rehome gently used books. The philosophy is to leave a book, then take a book.
- Freecycle – These local website groups are moderated by volunteers. Their purpose is to connect those wishing to keep usable items out of landfills with people who want these items.
- Online Organizations – Search online for various organizations which collect used books for specific groups, such as our troops overseas or third world countries.
Remember, donating used gardening books to these groups is a charitable tax deduction.