The phrase “be careful what you wish for” is all I can think about as my sister delivers hundreds of books on cooking, home design, and business to my doorstep.
All are books that were donated for a charitable event that occurs twice yearly, books that were to be destroyed because the category doesn’t fit the buying patterns of customers who will purchase during the event (too old, no interest, etc.).
I’m an author and lifelong book lover who could not let these books go to waste before seeing if there were any recipes, design tips, and business knowledge I could take, re-purpose, and share with others.
Here’s a sample of what I look for in each book.
Some cookbooks are structured in a certain way with a picture, ingredients, and directions that can be duplicated (the structure, not the recipe) online or in another print publication.
You and I know how design styles come, go, and come back again. Older home decor books provide insights that you may have forgotten that are handy today.
Business books aren’t always bound the same way. There’s spiral settings and three-ring binder formats. This is handy for certain books that don’t fit the traditional binding process.
Book reviewing is an end-of-day and weekend project. My goal in the evening is to evaluate 18 books (a number I picked at random) and decide if I’ll keep it, recycle it, or remove some photos and text before recycling. I also ask friends about interest in the three topics or certain recipes before the city’s recycling program removes the books.
Like you, I have limited space in my home and office. I can’t keep everything, and I’m not trying to create a library from scratch. However, the thought of getting rid of all the intelligence is my weakness. I’m pleased to make time to decide what I can keep, learn, and share. Isn’t that a wonderful example of reinvention?
When you see something that’s being discarded, whether by you or another person, consider the item for another purpose. I’m not suggesting that you keep it. Many things have an alternative use. If you recall the collectible jelly jars featuring The Flintstones (1960s memorabilia), you’ll remember that families re-purposed those jars into drinking glasses after the jelly was consumed. That’s the type of thinking I refer to – the trash to treasure effect.
That’s how I see books. I cannot keep all of them, but I will give soon-to-be destroyed books a chance to educate me before discarding the remains.
What item category – furniture, sporting goods, toys, jewelry, etc. – do you want to see in the same manner I’m reviewing books to determine an alternative use for yourself or share with others?