A couple of years ago I posted about wanting to get rid of my full set of 1973 Encyclopaedia Britannica. They take up a lot of space, and I no longer use them. Alas, I never found a taker. With the internet, I guess no one wants a ton of encyclopedia, even though 99% of the information within them is still good. (And the color plates and overlays are gorgeous!) One of the commenters to my post suggested I have a bonfire in the driveway, but others were uncomfortable (and rightly so) with the idea of a book-burnin'.
Seems I'm not alone in having this inability to get rid of books that no one will take - for money or for free. A bookstore owner in Kansas City, Missouri, held a good old-fashioned book-burning when he wanted to thin out his book collection and found no takers. Tom Wayne decided to burn the books in protest of "society's diminishing support for the printed word." Like me, he is frustrated that no one will take perfectly good books off one's hands, not even schools or charities.
I love nothing more than browsing, then walking away with an armload of used books (ask my Aunt Nell, who had the task of packing up all my books for the move to New York). I love books, I purely do. But I would love for my set of encyclopedia to be in the hands of someone who could use them. I'd also love the shelf space they take up for my other books. So I can relate to bookstore-owner Wayne's dilemma.
And you guessed it - my 1973 edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica was duly shipped to Manhattan and now resides on a couple of shelves in my "library." What do you do with old books?