What do you do with your travel books?

Old Jul 29th, 2004, 10:29 PM
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What do you do with your travel books?

I've run out of bookshelf space, and was wondering what do you do with your travel books after you've been to a destination you don't intend to return to? Hotel and restaurant information, along with pricing and entrance times to venues are sometimes out of date at printing, or shortly thereafter.

Do you donate the books to the library, a school, a travel agency? Sell them to a second hand book store? List them on line for auction at eBay or Yahoo? Sell them on line at Half.com, Halfvalue.com, Amazon.com?

I take great care in keeping my books in brand new condition. I don't write in them or highlight the pages. I use post it notes, flags, and photocopy the pages to make notes on.

Is there a market for getting some of the money back on these books so I can buy more of them, or is there a place to donate them for a tax deduction?

I've got about 150 travel books to specific destinations that I've accumulated over the past 10 years. Some of the destinations I have not been to, but thought of going to. I also have many ethnic cookbooks that I have purchased as souvenirs for myself, that I don't have a need for, and I'd like to divest myself of them.

If you've had any experiences, please share your experiences. Thanks.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 10:32 PM
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I put up more shelves, of course
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 10:35 PM
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Free your books!

www.bookcrossing.com
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 10:36 PM
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I keep the book just in case I will return in, say, 10 years and then will buy an updated book if I do. It helps drive the wife mad and therefore keeps me sane.
Then I have 2 books to find room for. It's a man thing?
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 10:41 PM
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I sell mine on the Amazon marketplace as soon as I'm finished with them-they are the quickest type of books to sell as long as they are recent editions. I can usually make at least half-back. I figure that if I do want to return somewhere in the future I would want an updated guide anyway.
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 11:50 PM
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Second the suggestion to free your books. Do look at bookcrossing.com
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 04:32 AM
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I was quite excited by the idea of bookcrossing.com when I first came across it but the forums seemed full of people who never heard anything about the books they "released" ever again.

I still give books to people (family, friends and also leave them on the tube or at a guest house) but I just don't bother with the bookcrossing thing.

I don't need to know who found them or where they ended up.

But travel books? I'm with Sheila - I find more shelf space.

I don't keep much fiction other than older editions of sci-fi books (I love the artwork on the covers and we both reread them from time to time) so most book space is given over to travel guides, a few photo books on Africa, a selection of cookery books that gather dust as we're lazy cooks and a few rather boring computer guides related to our jobs.
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 04:37 AM
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I think it can be wonderful to keep "old" travel books (I assume you mean guides) until you start looking at one that says something like, "In a few more years the city of Paris will finally have a Metro!" although a lot of the contents are obviously timeless..and fun to read over and over..and over as you dream about the "next" trip.
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 04:42 AM
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I don't think there is a destination I don't intend to return to! There are some I am less interested in, but I would be very sad to think of the places I have been knowing I won't ever go back! and many places I do go back to eventually.
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 06:12 AM
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Most of my books are in sad shape upon arrival back to the states.

First, I've ripped out sections where I intend to travel so I have less to carry. If I haven't thrown them away after I've used them, I bring them home to use in my travel/photo books.

Lonely Planet, Fodors or others have been far more eloquent in their description of Michaleangelo's Pieta than I ever will be. Viewers of my photos read a history along with the picture seem to find that better than simply the photos and my header 'TMH in the Vatican'.

If I have a book left over, our local library is in dire need of funds so I donate to them for their book sales.
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 06:38 AM
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It's good to keep old travel books esp. when later editions don't contain info on a region that interests you. E.g., I love the Azores, and Fodors '90 Portugal has a section on them. Later editions don't. Hey, perhaps that's good. Don't want the whole world to know about certain places !
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 07:46 AM
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I'm with Sheila, more shelves!

The only books I ever get rid of are paperback mysteries.

I enjoy turning my travel books/guides into my own collections.
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 08:04 AM
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Well. I really use my books - highlighting, handwitten notes from articles or conversations, folded pages - even rip out secions if I'm only going to a small part of a county.

And once I'm done they're way too useful for future trips to ever give up. When I buy a new one I put it next to the file folders of sections from previous trips - so I agree with the put up more bookcases idea.
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 08:08 AM
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I have to get a new bookcase actually - I have one bookcase solely devoted to travel books and nothing else - and it is completely full. stuffed actually. and I have had to take to mixing up some travel books with my regular books - oh horrors. just won't do.

I found that Time Out, D-K (both regular D-K and Top Ten Guides) and the Collected Traveler series, are the most-represented titles, in my books. Cadogan is up there too. No fodors books though (eep!), except I think the Collected Traveler books may be sponsored by fodors.
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 08:11 AM
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I simply cannot part with mine.
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 08:16 AM
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It sounds like you were quite the travel book collector for some time. 150 travel books, and to places you have never been as well? That's quite a collection. We recently sold a bunch of books to a used book store, but parting with them was hard. I'm not one to get rid of my books, either.

Anyway, this is interesting. Do a lot of people buy that many books on travel, even if they haven't bought their ticket to visit the place yet? I only have one or two that are strict guidebooks.
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 08:49 AM
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I kept all of mine. But I usually only buy 2 hardcover book at very most about a particular place. P.S.: I love and keept those travel magazines too...
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 08:50 AM
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Mostly I keep them, so I can answer questions on this BB in the future! Very handy.

Alternatively, in Seattle the public library accepts book donations. They have a huge yearly book sale with profits going to support the library. Since I'm an avid user, I figure this is as good a place as any for my old books to go.
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 09:04 AM
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I keep them, for the most part, occasionally donating one or two older ones to our local library's sales. It's amazing how useful even some of the oldest ones can be--I loved the Egon Ronay guides to British hotels and restaurants and still have some from the 1980's, especially the one that showed many of the hotels on a map of the subway system.
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 09:18 AM
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Suze,

I have probably purchased a few of your books at the Sale at Magnuson Park. I never leave without spending way more than I plan on.
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