Their Trash Will Always Be My Book Treasure

I found a treasure trove of books, and I can’t wait to sort them all.

If you’ve read my last couple of posts, you’ll know that I’m running my own mobile library and I received a huge donation recently. Well, a week later, the numbers are in. It would have been more, but I shamelessly kept some of the treasure for myself. If you were a volunteer, you could do the same since all volunteers get first dibs on unprocessed books.

I usually donate them back to my library when I’m finished reading them. The total ended up being 419 books, and that’s only because that’s all we could fit in my car. Since January, I have collected a total of 1,643 books. I only paid $70 for all of them because they are mostly donations. As of right now, I have 1,200 books available in my library.

The Book Process

It took me an entire week, and I do mean all week, to process all these books. Every single moment of my free time involves the library. Sometimes I would log books for 8 hours a day. I would stay up until 1 AM and then wake up at 9 AM just to try to get it all done before the next donation. Things were much easier when I wasn’t getting donations by the hundreds.

I posted a request online for volunteers, but I didn’t get anyone to answer so I had to do everything myself. It was probably the biggest thing on my to-do list so far, and I’m glad to finally get it done. I’m glad I finally have a system in place that makes it easier to process the books. The old method used to take forever, but we are always trying to make improvements to make everything run smoother.

You should know that every single book is cleaned and handled with care. I inspect every single book and repair as necessary. Now that I am a librarian, I am in the process of organizing them to make the books easier to find. 

New Books Are Great, But Have You Tried Old Books?

The best part is the type of books I receive in the donations. I received at least 6 first editions and several books from the 1920’s to the 1940’s. One of the best books I received was a 1937 edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and a 1950 edition of Leaves of Grass. I started developing a special collection for my archives. I keep most of the older books in this collection to be used as a reference copy.

Can you believe that someone was going to throw these books away in the trash? It’s heartbreaking, to say the least. Not every book can be saved, but I think special consideration should be taken for older books.

Please check your local city laws because dumpster diving is not legal in all areas.

With that in mind, I remember going dumpster diving as a kid and finding all kinds of books in good condition so I might start doing that again. I hear people do that for a living, so I’m sure I can save these books from sitting in a landfill while saving the environment in the process. A lot of people also request these old books for crafting projects.

If you would like to know more about this book project, check out out my library page.

If you are looking for used books at an affordable prices visit Dead Tree Books on 5645 S Flores St #105, San Antonio, TX 78214 or

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