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Throwing away books...

(166 Posts)
SleepingStandingUp Fri 12-Apr-19 14:06:32

Collecting DC from the nursery, parents behind me discussing what they'll come out with.
One says she hopes it isn't a book, she hates it.
The friend asks if she means the weekly reading book and she clarifies no, a gift book (like they had at Christmas)
She goes on to say that she just bins them and other one comments she bags them all away (presumably to chuck or donate)

Kids got a Mr Men book at Christmas so not crap books by any stretch.

I wish i'd said something to her (like, then bloody donate it you silly woman, don't throw a decent book in the bin) but I was just so astounded. Utterly flummoxed as to why you'd resent a free book (and a nice book at that!!) and bin it rather than donate or, you know, USE it!!

AIBU to not understand her ire?

BasiliskStare Tue 16-Apr-19 18:06:14

@downcast - I would always say an academic book always having in physical form - yes. Ds just bought a couple because wants to keep open at a page. / required for course. 1st editions , books which have some sentimental value , yes or rare. Or indeed signed ( if you value them ) yes yes all good to keep. But the average high volume modern novel nowadays which gives a bit of pleasure for reading and then won't be read again I think better on kindle or recycle. And yes to @Acis - an out of print book worth having in printed form.

I just do my day to day modern novels reading on kindle. I still have books but trying to downsize my books was hard work. I think carefully now about books which need to go on a shelf. ( For those who have huge rooms & masses of bookshelves - not so much of a problem - I agree. ) smile

downcasteyes Mon 15-Apr-19 08:01:36

"Booklovers just need to accept that physical books no longer have the value they used to have, either financially or emotionally. It's a bit like the VHS tapes and DVDs that people no longer wanted"

Too general a statement. Antiquarian editions, first editions, signed copies, rare copies are all still extremely valuable. Academic books are holding their value reasonably well (reading heavy philosophy on a Kindle is not a pleasant experience). Cheap mass market paperbacks are probably worth less second-hand than they used to be, though.

Acis Mon 15-Apr-19 07:52:51

Booklovers just need to accept that physical books no longer have the value they used to have, either financially or emotionally. It's a bit like the VHS tapes and DVDs that people no longer wanted

Not a valid comparison. The reason VHS has disappeared is that it's very difficult to find the equipment to play it, whilst accessing books is never going to present that problem. Out of print books will always hold some value unless Kindle and similar ups their game in a big way to make less popular books available.

Tinkoschminko Sun 14-Apr-19 19:57:18

The publishing industry is gaining a lot of strength recently and having somewhat of a resurgence - children’s atleast.

UndertheCedartree Sun 14-Apr-19 11:29:01

@MitziTheTabbyIsMyOverlord - I wasn't suggesting of course that we never read to our children, never hear them read or don't keep any books for them. But the competition and suggestion that anything less than being the perfect parent by reading to them/hearing them read every day and having hundreds of books for them is not good enough is unhelpful.

There are many reasons why parents may not read to them everyday or spare '5 min' to hear them read (in my experience it is much longer if they read a good few pages and then talk about it/look at the pictures and fill in the reading record). For example I only see my children at the weekends. Luckily my daughter's school has a sensible attitude to homework. They suggest listening to children read 3 times per week. There are sections for reading, writing, talking, maths and creativity activities as ideas (non-compulsory) and at the end of each half term children may bring in something to show the class.

I haven't always read to my children every night when I could have done. Some nights I was just too exhausted or my ASD son had a meltdown and by the time I'd calmed him down it was really late and I needed to get him to sleep. And they don't have shelves and shelves of books because our house is small and there simply isn't room. Some parents may not be able to afford to buy lots of books. Using the library is fine.

My eldest is home-educated so I've watched him and his friends learn to read themselves without graded readers or lots and lots of reading to parents. The main thing children need to learn to read is time (maturity) rather than lots of practice. Once they are truly ready they can read novels in no time. Sorry gone a bit off topic there!

lljkk Sun 14-Apr-19 07:04:20

There are so many crap books out there, though. Browsing shelves in a charity shop yesterday, I struggled to find anything to buy. Most books for sale 2nd hand won't ever sell to anybody.

I know I'm fussy, but the overflow of low grade literature (esp. bad fiction), really struck me. Right now we have some very dusty shelves of adult paperbacks (I enjoyed, but won't reread), I don't know what to do with.

SusieQ5604 Sun 14-Apr-19 05:00:29

Reading to children helps develop their brains! I never did understand why some of my friends had no children's books AT ALL while raising their kids. Now that DD is grown, I give away my books to a church reading group, to the library, to a women's prison (until they told me they had enough!) and to two Little Free Libraries.

BasiliskStare Sun 14-Apr-19 04:49:28

You see I sympathise with @Gingerkittykat here @Krimpy - and I do because I have genuinely tried to give away a huge number of books ( we downsized & just don't have the space for them. Some books - it is hard to to find a home for . I have kept my very favourites and in truth , some nice editions of books , but a few years ago we got shot of VHS / DVDs etc because Netflix etc . I don't genuinely think it is "lazy" not to know where you can give books away other than schools / libraries / care homes / friends / just asking e.g. here who would like books ( and I have given a few away via MN ) - & I have tried - but equally it became too hard and I have put bags of paperbacks into recycling. I do think that unless you are lucky enough to have lots of space ( & I don't) for day to day reading Kindle is your friend ( and 5 years ago I would not have said that. ) I keep my favourite books but a novel I would normally buy in paper back I'll just download it onto the Kindle. So I think in some ways ( not all I will grant you @Krimpy ) book are slightly going the way of DVDs It won't be quite the same and honestly - I was once the arch supporter of you do not bin books. Time and circumstances have changed my mind. That said I still have 18 book shelves ( not huge ones ) - but I constantly look through them and get rid of what is of no interest.

Krimpy Sun 14-Apr-19 03:07:50

Booklovers just need to accept that physical books no longer have the value they used to have, either financially or emotionally. It's a bit like the VHS tapes and DVDs that people no longer wanted.

VHS tapes and DVDs have been around for a grand total of approximately 30 years. To compare them with books is quite lazy. In a short space of time VHS tapes and DVDs have peaked and then gone the way of the dodo, but books, which have been around for centuries, still prevail.

Gingerkittykat Sun 14-Apr-19 02:53:56

It used to be easy to pass on used books. I would pass them on to friends, via book swapping sites or sell them on Amazon and Ebay but things have changed. Standard paperbacks are as little as £4 new from the supermarket, more people use Kindles so there just isn't the demand for second hand books that there used to be.

I use my Kindle for most of my reading, except academic books, so I no longer buy second hand books, and I'm sure many others are the same. I do buy and sell academic books and the prices remain high. I do look in one charity shop where the books are 2 for £1 and very occasionally pick something up (last purchase was a cookbook I had wanted for ages and a non fiction book that looked promising). I refuse to buy from the charity shops which sell their books for £3 when I can buy new for not much more.

I'm currently having a clear out of books, and needing to be ruthless. Many bashed fiction paperbacks will be going straight to the recycling. Some will go onto a Facebook free page, some I will keep. Why would anyone else want the fad diet book I bought on impulse a few years back when there are millions in distribution or a copy of the 50 Shades books which again were sold in millions.

Booklovers just need to accept that physical books no longer have the value they used to have, either financially or emotionally. It's a bit like the VHS tapes and DVDs that people no longer wanted.

BasiliskStare Sat 13-Apr-19 19:11:36

Ha ha - Yes @Sandman & so good for you - but some books you cannot give away - let alone sell. I do not wish to be impolite but you obviously have something there which people want. Some books will be worth money in the future - some books are worth keeping ( and again I say I have limited space so cannot keep everything ) some books charity shops will want and yes yes should be done but where I live charity shops are creaking at the seams with books and just can't take any more - - some I have given to local school , some I have given to friends some I have given to charities , but some just can't find a home. At which point I think a paperback can be recycled - this and the weight restriction on flights is what first started me on the kindle & now I love my kindle.

TheSandman Sat 13-Apr-19 15:58:49

The trouble with throwing away/destroying books - and I'm talking purely from a financial POV here nothing to do with the ethics or morality - is that you never know what will be valuable in a few years time. When I was a kid I had a huge comic book collection. Lots of 1960s Marvel comics whole runs of early Fantastic Fours, Barry Smith Conans. Got bored with them in my twenties gave away / sold to a second hand shop boxes ful for pennies. Now at comic cons with my kids I see the same books I used to own - may well be the very same copies in some cases. For sale with ridiculously high prices on. I mean HUNDREDS! in some case. On line it gets even crazier:

I used to own a copy of this:

£2,000 plus postage.

This year's trash is next year's pension fund.

Gilead Sat 13-Apr-19 15:48:51

but I doubt my 18 year old DS has read a book for pleasure in years. grin
They frequently go back to it.

Ragwort Sat 13-Apr-19 15:40:22

apples but lots of things just can’t be used by anyone else so there comes a point where they have to be thrown away or at least recycled responsibly. As mentioned before, I manage a charity shop and we constantly receive donations of unsaleable items, not just books. Many people think they are ‘doing the right thing’ by donating their unwanted stuff to charity but often it is items that just cannot be sold, torn, ancient books; chipped china etc - no one wants these things. I spend a lot of time going to the tip, obviously I try to avoid putting too much into landfill but not everything can be recycled.

Ragwort Sat 13-Apr-19 15:36:20

Just because you do the dutiful parent thing of reading every night to your child, going to all the holiday reading schemes year after year, visiting the library once a week, constantly buying your DC books etc etc it doesn’t mean that they will enjoy reading, we did all that, plus DH and I always have a book on the go ...but I doubt my 18 year old DS has read a book for pleasure in years. grin

applesarerroundandshiny Sat 13-Apr-19 15:31:06

Whether you enjoy reading or not it's wrong to throw away something which can be used by someone else.

Bodicea Sat 13-Apr-19 14:39:43

That’s fine Tawdry. I love reading for its own sake too. The earnings is just an example as some people seem to think you can only be successful in life if you are into reading. The point is you can not like reading and still be an interesting person. Dh bores me to tears with his interest in cars and how they work but that’s his thing and he gets infinite pleasure out of it. I just don’t think we should judge people for not being readers or valuing books in quite the same way. I remember the peer pressure of my nct group, everyone outdoing themselves on how much they read to their kids every night, how their child was always saying just one more and I would be despairing that I couldn’t pin my child long enough to get through half a book. It felt like another thing on the long list of things you have to do to be a perfect parent.

CalamityJune Sat 13-Apr-19 14:21:56

I enjoy reading but I don't like the clutter of having loads of them around the house. I've gone back to using the library and I'm amazed more people don't.

I wouldn't throw a book away if I could donate it to a charity shop or a book swap event.

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Sat 13-Apr-19 14:19:38

Er, my passionate love of reading caused me to cast grammer to the wind! Also spellcheck.

Alsohuman Sat 13-Apr-19 14:17:19

There’s the extra apostrophe too! 😉

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Sat 13-Apr-19 14:14:19

Don't know where those Oxford commas came from! I swear excessive reading has not rotted my spelling.

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Sat 13-Apr-19 14:12:50

Ah, but Bodicea! I've never valued reading in the belief that it leads to a higher salary, or any form of material success. For those who love to read, doing so is it's own reward, and this is a massive wonderful gift that we naturally hope our children will also be lucky enough to enjoy.

It is as close to living other lives and visiting other world's as we get. Nothing to do with money.

Bodicea Sat 13-Apr-19 14:05:18

There is a lot of point scoring on here regarding who reads to their kids the most /who loves books the most here.
It isn’t actually the most important thing in the world. I myself have always been a bit of a bookworm, as is my dad. I’ve done ok in life ( good professional job, above average income). Dh on the other hand has never been much of a reader. He is just interested in other things! His life luckily has not gone down the pan as people seem to suggest will happen to kids if you don’t force books down their throat every day! He actually earns about four times as much as me so he is quite alright.
Ds so far isn’t much of a reader either. He is more interested in building stuff and investigating how things work. He has a maths brain according to his teacher. I read to him but if he isn’t in the mood I don’t bully him into it. I don’t want it to become a chore. DD loves being read too so that’s what we do.
It’s ok to like different things!
I think there is too much pressure on schools to get Kids reading and writing too early too at the detriment of other things ( reduction of continuous provision in pro
Art schools for a start).

Dongdingdong Sat 13-Apr-19 14:01:40

I used to agree that throwing out books is sacrilege - but now I think it’s an ok thing to so if they’re crappy things like Fifty Shades of Grey for example. I’d have no qualms whatsoever about chucking a copy of that in the recycling, but I’d never throw away a good book.

KissingInTheRain Sat 13-Apr-19 14:01:12

Cross post!

But, if I may say so, cross-posts of the very highest calibre.

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