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Book Recycling 101

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Dear fellow book lovers:  

Book recycling is a sensitive subject for book lovers. Even though you may not admit it, you probably have a few too many books sitting on your shelf at home. They could be old books from school (when's the last time you opened one of those?), outgrown children's books, or someone else's recommendation you haven't started yet. Sometimes, you just have to buy a new release even if you're already in the middle of two others. Perhaps, books are like trophies and sit on shelves as a display of your completion. Or, they are purchased with the hope of learning something new, but never get around to them. It happens. We don't judge. Were here to help!

Those old books shouldn't just be tossed in the trash, though. Book Recycling or a books lifetime use isn't on the top of our mind when we purchase a book. But we should think about it. Estimates are given that over 320 million books still end up in the garbage every year.

Books are meant to be read. Our mission at Discover Books is to Let the Stories Live On. You could help by reading these tips and tricks on how to reuse, recycle, and redistribute books. Read on to find out just some of the many ways you can help.

One way to give your books a new purpose and make money while doing it is to sell your books through online sites or buyback programs. Discover Books buyback program, PiggyBook, allows you to sell your books directly to us through our app. All you have to do is scan each books barcode or cover (we are the only buyback app with book cover scanning), and well take care of the rest! Pack them in a shipping box and PiggyBook will send shipping label (we pay shipping) to ship the books. Once we receive them, well review the books and pay you on PayPal. Note: Need $6 (updated from the time video was created) in trade value to check out.

Our PiggyBook app is available on the App Store and Google Play. Customers are able to send about 15 books per box to our facilities. The apps high-speed technology will decide which books we are able accept in just one second. Cant find a barcode? No problem. PiggyBook's visual image recognition technology can recognize books without a barcode. For more information on our buyback program, visit here.

If your old books are gently used and still in a good shape for others to enjoy, drop in a book collection bin, donate them to a local library, charity, or company that can redistribute them for you! Local libraries are willing to take books that they may not have enough of already. Charities in your community, such as daycares, orphanages, or shelters, can use books for children or adults to enjoy.


Some organizations may not be able to accept used books, so be sure to check first. If you are unable to find an organization or local facility that will accept the books, Discover Books is happy to find the right place for them. 

We have book donation bins across the country you can easily drive by and drop your books in. Once we receive your books, we will sort them and determine whether they can be resold for another reader to enjoy, donated to one of our many charitable partners, or recycled to become another useful product and avoid ending up in a landfill. 

Sometimes, your books have damage from normal wear and tear. Recycling is a great alternative to tossing them out in the garbage. According to the EPA, recycling not only reduces waste in landfills and prevents pollution, but also supports manufacturing in the country, increases economic security with domestic sourcing of raw materials, and creates approximately 700,000 jobs per year.


How to recycle books varies by state, county, and city, so be sure to visit your local recycling website for guidelines and information. As important as recycling is, if it is not done properly, it could still lead to more waste and pollution on the earth. Visit the EPAs recycling page on basic rules of recycling.

For those looking for a more creative and fun way to recycle old books (past being passed on stage), there are hundreds of ways to make crafts at home with just a few items. If you have a green thumb, you can create a planter out of a hardcover book. If you're running out of bookmarks, you could make your own with old book spines or pages. Old book pages make for great material for DIY home decor, such as garland, wreaths, or other wall hangings. Visit here for a list of 12 ways to put your creative ideas to work! Or find a great book with detailed instructions here or here.


However you decide to repurpose your old books, were glad you could join us in our mission to Let the Stories Live On. And if you aren't ready to give up your precious books, we completely understand. Perhaps, you might enjoy our post on arranging your books click here. Happy reading!


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