the book’s in the mail


Last month I finally finished Anthony Trollope’s wonderful novel (well, one of his wonderful novels), The Way We Live Now. Today I mailed it to someone I’ve never met, a woman who lives in Emeryville, Calif.

We “met” on goodreads.com, which is not only a terrific free way to swap books but also a very helpful vehicle for liberating your bookshelves, nightstand or coffee table of books you no longer want.

You can read the details on the website, but basically, it works like this: You list the books you’re willing to give away. When another goodreads member wants one, she pays the postage and you print out the postage-paid label from the website. Then you drop the book in the mail, confident that it’s going to someone who’s excited about reading it.

It’s always easier to declutter and let go when you know the objects you’re eliminating are going to a good home. I’ve found that to be especially true for books — maybe because I’m an avid reader and a former English major?

And I like the idea that it won’t be long before someone will see my list on goodreads and let me know that a copy of Charles Dickens’ Dombey and Son can be mine for the price of media mail shipping.

How many books would you be willing to “trade in” for ones you really want?

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About organizesf

Professional organizer June Bell (www.organizesf.com) combats clutter and chaos with sage advice, tested techniques and good humor.
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