Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Friday 28 April 2017

Finding a Home for Preloved Books

At some point, most of us need to weed our book collections, and make some hard decisions on what to keep and what to do with those preloved copies that others are sure to enjoy. Read about Patsy’s dilemma, and share any suggestions with a comment on her post.

In the last few months my grandchildren and I have been weeding my large collection of books. Many of those weeded are children’s books, ranging from books aimed at an infant audience, to those written for young adults. Some are picture books, some are non-fiction, some are fiction.

It seems that second-hand bookshops in Hobart don’t consider they have much market for children’s books, so despite having been able to unload a considerable number of adult books, I am left with several boxes of children’s books which I, my children, and my grandchildren have outgrown.

What should I do with these? Am I reduced to trekking about various Hobart charities and leaving them as donations? I would hope that I can find a better home for the majority of them, and wondered if readers of our weekly blog might have some suggestions.

Are there school libraries that might appreciate these books? I know that processing such material has its cost, and not all these books would be worth the effort to some libraries…. but still…..

Are there schools that would be glad to use these books as ‘swaps’ in the classroom or a similar activity, with no necessity for expensive processing?

Would Children’s Book Council of Australia (Tas) use them as stock in a secondhand book sale, if in fact such a booksale is planned for this year?

What else do you suggest?

If there is someone out there in Tasmania, who is interested, do let me know via the address below I am sure I could prevail upon one of my grandchildren to type up a list with names and authors of the books I have here, if anyone would like to request such a list. I have added images of some of the books to this blog to indicate the variety of titles I have available.

Patsy Jones
Retired librarian and teacher

Contact: Patsy Jones / Preloved Books
C/- PO Box 113
Tasmania 7009


  1. Pop up libraries, such as one that has been run in Devonport (a plastic lidded box left in a park)are a great option for recycling books. I have also had a free books table outside my library door on occasions when we have a large number of parents through the school, and they find new homes. Some school libraries run a bring and swap event, often linked to Book Week. There is also the Book Crossing idea, where you just leave a book on a park bench, or anywhere public for someone to take (you can even register these books and watch their journey). Many charities also accept donations for their book sales events, where you pay for books by the centimetre. Some boutique coffee shops have book cases, where you can borrow and leave books. There are also amazing art works created by repurposing books. Providers of after school care may be interested. I'd love to see other ideas posted here.

  2. Patsy you could try Library Aid International at: http://www.libraryaid.org/
    Library Aid International Inc. (LAI) is a Christian-based non-government organisation which provides, free-of-charge, used books and educational materials to improve literacy and educational outcomes and life opportunities for children in disadvantaged schools in developing countries.

    We love introducing books to children, especially to those who would otherwise have little opportunity to access them.

    To-date, Library Aid International has been able to send four shipping containers of more than 120,000 books to some 160 schools in southern Africa and has provided small quantities to the Philippines and Myanmar.

  3. Patsy’s books are almost always in mint condition and are worth more than the usual donation to a school fair, etc. Over many years, I have seen what people have donated to schools, libraries and charities. Often, they are dirty, discoloured and frankly unappealing. These will be real gems.