I suspected my pile of computer books wasn't worth too much, but it was worse than I thought …
Have you ever been concerned that you could turn into a hoarder?
This concern crosses my mind more often than I care to admit. It usually crops up when I have to tear my office apart to find something, and things scatter all about. This puts me in a bad mood because I can feel the stuff in my office starting to close in on me. After my walking around gets loud enough and deliberate enough — OK, when I stomp around — my wife asks me if she did anything. (Almost always the answer ends up being no.)
Following this last bout, she handed me a single sheet of paper with the start of a plan for cleaning out my office, and more, starting with books.
“But I can sell them …”
Reselling things is one of over a dozen money-making ventures I've started up, gotten into a bit, and then moved on to something else. It's easier for a bit to just hold onto these ventures, inventory and all, “just in case.” And, probably not coincidentally, it also offers an excuse to hold onto the stuff. (cough cough hoarder cough ahem)
Since my wife knows me so well, she wrote this in her one-pager to me:
Remember: “Get rid of” doesn't mean stack it in a box in the basement to sell online “someday.” If there are some you think might be worth selling, you can get together some boxes to send to Amazon and have them store it for you.
So tonight I plowed through the bookcase in my office and identified two decent-sized boxes of (mostly) computer books I had accumulated here and there.
Computer books devalue quickly
Before packing them in boxes, though, I went to Amazon to check out what some of these books were worth.
I suspected some of them wouldn't be worth much, but there were a few I was holding out some hope for.
Only three of them were selling for over $10. The rest were going for next to nothing, and there were a ton of sellers offering these books.
A little saddened, I hopped over to eBay and did a search for “computer books lot” in hopes of finding a glimmer of opportunity for my computer books. The problem with my computer books is that they were a little old, but not old enough. If they were Commodore or Atari computer books, they'd be fairly easy to sell. But my books weren't that vintage, so there wasn't really a market for them.
Uses for out-of-date computer books
Ah well … at least I bought a lot of these books used.
I happened on this Reddit thread which discussed what to do with these old computer books. The questioner was looking for a buyer, but most of the answers centered around “they're worth only the paper they're printed on.” Here are some of the highlights:
- To align multiple LCD monitors. One monitor a bit lower than the other? Crack out that old copy of Windows 3.11 for Dummies …
- Gift them to a library. Our library has twice-annual sales. They accept donations of books. Someone else may buy them, or they may recycle the rest. Either way, they make money.
- Kindling. A thick computer book has a lot of combustible material. Just sayin'.
- Invisible book shelves. Take the old books and construct book shelves from them. Like this.
- Gift them to unsuspecting coworkers. Especially if there's no hint of whose they are.
- Freecycle. Because free is a siren song.
- Wrapping paper. (OK, this one wasn't in the thread, but a box knife and a bunch of cellophane tape is all you need.)
Any other uses you can think of? I'm getting rid of a bunch of them, and the more entertaining, the better … 🙂