How To Recycle Old Books?

By Rebekah Pierce

It’s great to know how to recycle old books! Not only are you saving them from going into a landfill, but you’re also giving them new life in somebody else’s hands. Here are a few easy ways to recycle your old books. Keep reading to find out more!

Can You Put Hardcover Books In The Recycle Bin?

It seems like a no-brainer – of course you can recycle your old hardcover books! They’re made of paper, after all. 

However, recycling centers don’t always accept hardcover books because they are often bound with glue and plastic, which can be difficult to separate. In addition, the cover may be made of a different type of paper than the pages, which further complicates the recycling process. 

As a result, it’s best to check with your local recycling center to see if they accept hardcover books before you put them in the bin. If not, you can always donate them to a local library or secondhand bookstore.

What Is The Easiest Way To Dispose Of A Book? 

When you are finished reading a book, you may be wondering what the best way to dispose of it is. If you simply throw it away, it will end up in a landfill where it will take up space and release greenhouse gasses as it decomposes. However, there are a few more environmentally-friendly options available. 

Donate To A Local Library

One option is to donate the book to a local library or charity. 

Libraries are always in need of new material, and your donations can help them to expand their collections and provide new options for patrons. In addition, donating to a library is a great way to support your community. Not only will you be helping to improve the library’s resources, but you’ll also be providing opportunities for others to enjoy the same books that you once did.

Better World Books

One option is to send them to Better World Books, a social enterprise that collects and sells used books online. All of the proceeds from book sales are used to support literacy initiatives around the world.

Make Envelopes From The Pages

One great way to repurpose old books is to make envelopes out of the pages. This is a simple project that only requires a few materials, and it’s a great way to give new life to an old book. 

First, choose a page from the book that you’d like to use for your envelope. Then, use a craft knife or scissors to cut out a rectangle from the page. Next, fold the rectangle in half and glue or tape the sides together. 

Once the glue has dried, your envelope is ready to use. You can use it to send a letter to a friend, or you can use it as storage for other small items. Either way, you’ll be giving new life to an old book, and that’s always a good thing.

Create Your Own DIY Gift Tags

With a little bit of creativity, you can turn old books into beautiful DIY gift tags.

To get started, simply choose a book that has special meaning for you and the person you’re giving it to. Once you’ve selected your book, carefully remove the cover and any pages that are too damaged to use. Next, use a ruler and pencil to trace out the shape of your gift tag on one of the remaining pages. Then, cut out the tag using scissors or a craft knife. 

Finally, write a personal message on the back of the tag and attach it to your gift.

Decorate With Them

Antique and vintage books can make for beautiful and unique decorations in any room. For a classic look, try stacking some books horizontally on a shelf and placing a few vertical items on top, like a vase or a statuette. 

For a more creative approach, try using book pages to create wall art or origami sculptures. You can even use old books as part of a table centerpiece, by propping them up on either side of a vase or candlestick holder. 

However you choose to decorate with them, old books are sure to add some charm and personality to your space.

Here’s a video with more fun decorating ideas:

Recycle Them

Another option is to recycle the book. Most recycling facilities will accept books, and they can be used to create new paper products.

Sell Them Online

One solution is to sell them online. There are a number of platforms that make it easy to list and sell used books. In addition, many online booksellers will purchase collections outright. This can be a great way to declutter your home and make some extra money.

Start A Neighborhood Swap

If you can’t bear to part with your beloved books, why not start a neighborhood book swap? This is a great way to get rid of old books while also getting new ones. And it’s a great way to meet your neighbors! Here’s how it works: everyone brings a few books that they no longer want to the book swap. Then, everyone gets to choose one or two books from the pile. It’s that simple!


Freecycle is a website where people can list items they want to get rid of, and others can browse and claim them for free. It’s a great way to declutter your home while also helping someone else. 

And who knows- someone might even list a book that you’ve been wanting! So before you start packing up boxes for your next move, check Freecycle and see if anyone in your area is looking for a new book to read.


BookCrossing is a global community of over 1.8 million members who “release” their books into the wild for others to find and enjoy. 

By leaving books in public places like parks and cafes, BookCrossing members are giving new life to old books and spreading the love of reading. If you have some gently used books that you’re ready to part with, consider joining the BookCrossing movement and giving them a second chance at finding a happy home.

Make A Free Books Box

If you really want to get rid of your old books, you can always try giving them away for free. You can post them on online classifieds websites or leave them in public places where people are likely to see them. Just be sure to include a note telling people that they’re free to take.

You can even make a free books box at the side of the road so people can grab a new book whenever the mood strikes!

Give To Family Or Friends

One option is to give them to family or friends who might appreciate them more. This way, you can declutter your home while also giving your loved ones a thoughtful gift. Another option is to donate them to a local library or literacy organization. This way, you can ensure that your books will go to good use and be enjoyed by others. 

Check With Your Local School Or Prison

One solution is to check with your local school or prison. Many schools have programs in place to encourage reading among their students, and they are always in need of new books. Prisons also have libraries for inmates, and they are always looking for new books to add to their collections.

Give Them To A Literacy Program

Another option is to donate them to a local literacy program. These programs often collect gently used books and distribute them to children in need. This is a great way to ensure that your old books will be put to good use and will bring joy to new readers.

Check With The Retirement Homes Or Hospitals

If you have a lot of old books that you need to get rid of, one option is to check with the retirement homes or hospitals in your area. Many of these facilities have libraries for their residents, and they may be interested in taking some of your books off your hands.

Donate To A Thrift Shop

One way to get rid of old books is to donate them to a thrift shop. Thrift shops are always in need of donated items, and they will often sell the books for a reasonable price. This way, you can declutter your home and help out a good cause at the same time.

How Do You Discard Books?

It’s easy to recycle old books and there are a lot of ways you can do it. By following the simple tips in this post, you can keep your old books out of the landfill and give them new life. Have you recycled any old books lately?

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