, Muskogee, OK

June 7, 2014

What to do with old books?

By Janie Teague-Urbach
Books & More

— I will soon start helping to manage the Book Sale at Muskogee Public Library. Many of the books that are donated to the library are treasures trying to find a good home.

If the book is special or newer than 5 years old, it may be put in the collection.

An older book, in good shape may be sold in the Book Sale.

Some books may be donated to other agencies or organizations.

Some will eventually age out of the sale and have to be recycled.

If you want to donate books, please do not include moldy books or books in such bad shape they can't be sold or donated to another group.  

Some of you know that we are replacing our elevators and are temporarily very low on storage space, so we can only accept smaller sized donations until after July 4.

If you must part with a large number of decently used books before then, there are other local places that accept them, such as nursing homes, the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center, and Honor Heights Towers, to name a few.

If you run out of local options, there are sites online that are ready to receive them, such as Books for Soldiers, Books for Africa and others.

A few will pay shipping, which is about 70 cents per pound, media rate.

What can you do with books that you hate to part with, but are not readable any more and you can't donate anywhere?

Throw out any books with mold; it spreads. That said, we have books at the library that describe interesting, fun and even artistic things you can do with decrepit books.

I still cringe when I cut or fold a book page, so I started by making cards and wrapping paper from book jackets. However, much more can be done with books than I ever knew.

Here are some titles to help you get started getting creative with old books: “Altered Art for the first time,” by Madeline Arendt, and “The Altered Book Scrapbook” by Susan Ure, which you can find right here in Muskogee. “Playing with Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, & Reimagining the Book,” by Jason Thompson, “Alter This!: Radical Ideas for Transforming Books Into Art,” by Alena Hennesey, and “The Repurposed Library: 33 Craft Projects That Give Old Books New Life,” by Lisa Occhipinti, are also available through EODLS libraries.

We can request other titles from outside the EODLS system through Interlibrary Loan. Let us know about any other titles that you would like us to consider ordering.

Come in to the Muskogee Public Library, 801 W. Okmulgee Ave., and enjoy all the books, movies, CDs and Playaways we have available.

You can also explore our titles and request books on our public catalog at, as well as download books, audiobooks, magazines and music for your electronic devices.