Where do all the books go?

A while ago I was helping out in our church library. Everything in it has been donated by members over the years. There were quite a few books that were duplicated and I knew that we didn’t need 5 copies of a book no one was reading, but what to do with them?? We had a couple of avenues to give them away but it started making me think about what happens to all the unwanted books in the world. Where do the books go that even the libraries and thrift stores don’t want them.
I know that libraries sell their unwanted books for pretty cheap and there are a lot of books on Ebay. Then what happens?

The only reason I ask (besides the fact that this was the only thing I could think to post for a week!) is because I hadn’t thought about things like this until I spent a summer in Honduras. I lived in a fairly small town near the Guatemala border and the “big deal” stores were the “American Clothes stores”. There were stores in towns all over that literally sold reject thrift store clothes. Reject Thrift Store clothes. At first you think they could be clothes with manufacture issues until you realize that they have definitely been worn and were often out of date. Who knew that they’d be a hot item in another country.

Knowing that clothes get sent south of the border makes me wonder if there are more things that are showing up in places we never expected. Maybe books just get passed around yard sales, thrift stores and online avenues until someone just throws them away. I may never know…

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One thought on “Where do all the books go?

  1. Michael says:

    We were just talking about problems like this in class this week. It’s called “dumping” and it’s a huge problem because of how it effects local economies.

    Suddenly people are buying rejected and used American clothes instead of clothing and things made locally.

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