Update: As of July 2022, we have given away 12,000 books.
Never did I think that I’d ever pick up 500 books at once as a donation.
When I started my mobile library, I never thought it would get so big so fast. With an online blog, this amount of growth would be welcome. But when you have a product that takes up actual space, that kind of growth must be controlled. The first time I bought books for my mobile library I bought 50 books for $5. Thirty-eight books went to my library, and the other 12 books went to my personal collection.
Just recently, I had a sweet little girl named Anika that came to our booth this past weekend. She was so excited to get new books. She was so excited that she went home and cleared out her bookshelf of her old books and donated 50 books to us.
For a while, we didn’t get any donations. I had to spend my own money to purchase books from the bookstore, yard sales, and book sales around town. I asked my friends and family if they could donate some of their old books, and I received way more than I expected.
Now, I have too many donations. Well, let’s just say I’m starting to run out of room for the current book inventory. It’s getting hard to find places around my house to store all of these books.
It’s hard to fathom what 500 books even looks like, and luckily I took a picture (see photo above). Since January 2017, I collected 1200 books and given away 500 books. You would think it would be easy as pie to give away free books, but I’ve run into some obstacles and naysayers. I am so grateful to receive these books for free. I want to continue to pay it forward.
About 85% of the books I received are for adults. They can sometimes be harder to give away because while there aren’t many adults who like to read, there are even fewer people that have time to read. I understand, I never had time to read for pleasure until after I graduated college. It has become increasingly hard to get adults to read in their free time. eBooks are also on the rise, making physical books less attractive because of all the space they take up.
To give you an idea of how big my library has gotten, I started on March 11, 2017, with only 150 books. Today, only two months later, I have close to 2,000 books. I’m doing this all by myself. I only have two people who help sometimes, but I do 80% of the work myself. The book process would go much smoother if people would space out their donations rather than donating all the books they own in one day. Regardless of the difficulties, we are appreciative of the large volume of donations we have received.
It’s not easy doing all this work, but I started this on my own, and I’ve never been one to expect help from anyone. I am always grateful for those who do help, and I will always accept help from whoever offers.
If you would like to start your own bookmobile, start by asking your friends and family to donate their old books. It’s not too difficult and it’s a lot of fun.
Be careful what you wish for though because I lost track of my donations amounts, and now I have close to 10,000 books. Do your best to not accept all 500 books at one time.
If you are interested, I wrote a children’s book call The Legend of Miss Ruth The Mobile Librarian.
Check out my mobile library here.