Surplus Book Extravaganza

truckload 600px
One of four truckloads of books, headed for storage.

They creep up on you. Multiplying silently in the night. Smuggling themselves in the front door, disguised in innocent Amazon boxes. Building themselves nests that spread to cover every wall in your house.

Then one day you turn around and realize you’re sharing your house with 6,500 books.

Duplicates. Triplicates. Paperbacks when you also have the hardback. Books you’ve loved enough to re-purchase on Kindle, or on BaenEBooks. Books you’ve never read. Books you never want to read again. Books, books, books…


Cissa and I have gone through the painful process of purging about a third of our collection, meaning 2,400+ books. And we’ve catalogued them and boxed them and moved them to off-site storage. I hate paying for offsite storage. So it’s time for these books to find new homes.

There are about 700 hardbacks (mostly in excellent condition), and about 1700 paperbacks (from pristine to seriously abused). Some of them are rare. Some of them are worth a bit of money. Some of the ones that Amazon claims are worth only a penny would be invaluable to the right person. A few of them are probably a waste of a good tree. But, at one point, all of them were worth bringing home.

Take a look at the list. Talk to me. I’d love to sell the entire collection. Barring that, I’d be interested in selling individual books… but in quantities sufficient to make it worth driving out to the warehouse and digging through 78 boxes. I’d be happy to donate a big chunk to some sort of charity if their mission gets the books in the hands of people (especially kids or military personnel) who would actually read them. So, no, donating them to the local library just to bulk up the next rummage sale doesn’t qualify. And, sorry, but any bulk donation is going to have to be within driving distance of Atlanta, since shipping these would be prohibitively expensive.

Scroll through the list. There’s something in here you’re looking for.

screenshot 600px

(Note that there are two worksheets in that spreadsheet… one for hardbacks, one for paperbacks. There are some trade paperbacks mixed amongst the hardbacks, but you’ll figure that out. And it’s alphabetized by first name because that’s how Delicious Library catalogs items, and it’s non-trivial to automate the extraction of last names from dirty data. Sorry.)


  1. Barbara Flury Knight says

    Cissa & Stephen,
    This is the engineered model with eloquent commentary to inspire millions of people on how best to “let go” of millions of tomes to help millions of other people with dollars and sense. Thank you! I’m revisiting the local organized book sales of churches, church pre-k programs, and the local parking lot based, book depository, for followup info for you, if it applies. Another suggestion is that Passion City Church, ATL, assisted ATL public school children by connecting each child with a new book. The infra-structure and manpower is in place, as another possibility 🙂 Again, I’ll notifiy PCC with your notification. Happy reading, b

  2. 1. Did you do your own inventory? How long did that take! Yikes!!!!
    2. Did you keep all your Daniel Silva books or don’t you read his?

    Good luck!

    • 1) The hardbacks, and about half the paperbacks, were all in our Delicious Library database already. Adding the missing ones was either trivial (if they had a valid bar code) or tedious (typing). Having two people made it go much faster. But each entry had to be edited to reflect the new location (Box xxxx), which was purely manual. Yeah, it took a lot of time.

      2) I don’t read Daniel Silva… YET. And now I’m going to plug my fingers in my ears and pretend I can’t hear you, since the last thing I need is another eleven-book series!! 🙂

  3. Wow, nice collection and index!