What To Do With Old College Textbooks in 2021

College Textbooks

If you were asked to mention your huge expenses in school, textbooks will probably not cross your mind. But they are pretty expensive. Unfortunately, it’s unavoidable, but what if you had a way of getting some of the money spent on the textbooks back? 

If you know what to do with your old college textbooks, you could benefit from them. Other people could also share in its advantages. The decision is yours!  You can use a minimum of 5-7 books for each semester. That’s about 40-60 textbooks for a four-year program. 

That’s a lot of textbooks. So it’s normal to have some of your books collecting dust. Here are some options of what to do with your old books. 

Sell Your Textbooks 

Selling your textbooks is an obvious thing to do. But it’s quite surprising that most people don’t know how to sell their college books effectively. Yes. For the most part, you just run your book’s ISBN on a bookselling website and see the offers these sites have for you. From there, you can ship your textbooks and get paid. 

However, not all websites offer great deals. So it would help if you did your research before you begin. We recommend you start with BookDeal.com because they make the selling process simple and straightforward. The company offers you high offers, and you can ship your books for free. The most crucial part is that they ensure that you get paid. 

You can also use other bookselling sites such as Textbookrush.com, Amazon.com, and AbeBooks.com. 

Another factor you have to consider to ensure a good deal is a time you sell the textbooks. You need to know when students will require your book. If not, you’ll get low deals or, worse, no offers at all. Also, you need to ensure that your book is in good condition. 

Donate Your Textbooks 

Even if your books are not of any help to you anymore, they might be of great value to someone else. There are numerous organizations whose sole purpose is to ensure that these people get your books. These organizations serve different groups and communities. That’s what’s great about donating your textbooks. 

You can choose the organization that gives you meaning and know that your books will help someone you wish to support. If you don’t know where to donate your textbooks, here are a few options: 

  • Local Libraries 

Libraries are the pillars of the community. There’s no doubt about that. They give people access to knowledge, provide a safe place for everyone to learn, and promote literacy. Donating your well-maintained used textbooks to your local library will help them to add to their collection. They can also resell them to aid their funding for various programs. 

  • Better World Books 

Better World Books accepts book donations and sends them to people in need. Aside from that, the organization provides literacy grants to libraries and non-profits and protects the environment by avoiding unwanted waste. 

Trade Your Textbooks 

Trading your books is another uncomplicated thing to do with our old textbooks. You can set up a book swap at a local store, community center, or local coffee shop. Trading your books can help you find books you may need while you benefit others. 

You can also use websites such as PaperSwap Books. With PaperSwap Books, you can list the textbooks you want to share with your community.  Another way is to leverage these platforms and meet students from your college or your area through social media platforms. 

You can avoid any third parties and even postage fees. 

Recycle Your Textbooks 

If the points listed above are not a viable option, you can recycle your old textbooks. There are numerous ways to recycle your books. Here are some options you can take: 

  • Recycling your book

If you have a paperback book, you can recycle it directly by putting it in the proper bin. If it’s a hardback cover, you’ll have to remove the cover and spine first. That’s because it contains other materials such as threads, glue, and plastics. 

You can check out this guide to help you unbind hardcover books. 

  • Find a center 

If you don’t have a recycling service in your area and don’t know where to recycle your textbooks safely, you can use the Berecycled tool. The site can help you locate commercial and government alternatives in your area. 

  • Be Creative 

Aside from recycling them, you can turn your textbooks into something handy or decorative. There are countless ways to turn your books into something pleasing. You can make an eReader case, book headboard, table runner, etc. The possibilities are endless! 


There are several options available to you to help you decide what to do with your college textbooks. We recommend that you sell your old textbooks on websites like Bookdeal.com or Bookscouter.com to get some money back. Just make sure the book is in good condition. 

If it’s in terrible condition, you can recycle them. Use the ways listed above to recycle your books. 


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