10 Ways to Recycle Your Old Textbooks

Learn how to recycle old books: best ways!

You likely have several old textbooks lying around your house collecting nothing but dust.

And though they have sentimental value and will bring back some good memories of your school years, there isn’t that much reason for you to keep them.

They may come useful at times if you need to review something, but Google will usually do the trick.

In reality, once you finish using them at school, they’re just clutter — and that’s quite a shame if you leave them like that. 

So here’s what we suggest: recycle. 

After they served their purpose to educate you, why not try these ten recycling tips for your old textbooks:

1. Sell your old textbooks

Textbooks are expensive. Unlike mobile devices and other technology-related things that plummet in value once used, books don’t.

You can still sell your old textbook for at least 70% of its original price. 

As long as they’re still in good condition, people will buy them!

Many students want to save money and prefer buying second-hand books. 

So it’s almost guaranteed that you’re going to sell them regardless of their subject. 

There are plenty of platforms that allow you to sell your old books. A few to mention are:

  • BookScouter
  • Half Price Books
  • Cash4Books
  • BookByte
  • Amazon

You may even use social media such as Facebook to sell your books. Feel free to post them in the right group and wait for someone to inquire. 

Selling your book at a lower price will not only give you money but also help a student out. 

2. Trade your old textbooks

Not a fan of making money? 

How about trading them for a different textbook instead?

You can always post your book online and request an item of your choice — it can be a book you need for the next semester or a pair of shoes. 

When it comes to trading books, communication is the key.

You have to be accurate with the details and be proactive in searching for potential seekers. 

There are websites like Student2Student that will help you connect with people who may have the book you want while having the book that they want. 

You can also go to your school library and ask if there are barter programs available in your institution. 

Trading can sometimes be more beneficial than selling. If you get to trade your book for a more expensive book, then that means profit. 

The thing about trading, though, is that it will require more time than selling.

3. Make envelopes

We’re sure you have a couple of old textbooks out there that have a few missing pages. 

Since you can’t sell them quickly, why not just cleanly remove the pages using a pair of scissors or a cutter and use those pages to make an envelope. 

It’s an easy project that you can do and requires little to no effort. 

What makes it even more impressive is that you can actually use them — sell them, even.

They’re perfect for sending gift cards, cash, and invitation letters. They look pretty instantly with all the text and graphics on the pages too!

Not sure how to make one? Then please visit this page here.

4. Create a book-cover bag!

Are you done with making hundreds of envelopes?

You can make a bag out of the remaining book cover so that nothing will go to waste!

To make a bag out of a book, you will need a cutter, a zipper, super glue, and some clothing material. 

You need to have some sewing skills to make one, but it is easy.

All you need to do is attach the garment to the edges of the book cover using super glue and then sew a zipper on it.

If instructions aren’t that clear, check this website out.

5. Donate to charity

If you have money, and you don’t need to get a new book, the best thing to do is give your old textbooks away to those who need them. 

You can easily do that by sending your old textbooks to charity. 

Goodwill and Salvation Army are two of the most popular charities with establishments and outlets all around the country. 

You can send it to them, and they’ll make use of your book to help people who are truly in need.

They’ll probably sell it or send them to third-world countries.

Not only will you help society, but you will also feel better for the sheer act of helping. 

You can also choose to give the book personally to a lower year of your field. 

As long as you donate your book, you’re helping people out big time.

6. Give your textbooks to your local or school library

Other than sending your books to charity, you can always send them to your local or school library.

It’s one of the most generous things you can do as many students can benefit from your book.

Most libraries today are no longer that much funded by the government. One small donation can make a difference.

So if you have old textbooks that you no longer use, make sure to dispose of them the right way.

7. Create a secret book safe

If you’ve watched those spy movies, book safes are pretty common. 

You can build your own by using any hardcover book.

The only things you need to have are a cutter, paper glue, and a mind for creativity. 

You first want to remove the center part of the pages using your cutter. The next thing is to glue the pages together to make the sides durable and stable. 

Once your book is dry, you have a new repurposed book that you can use to keep your jewelry and other valuable items. 

8. Build a bedside table

If you don’t have a bedside table, but you have tens of old textbooks lying around, then build one.

While waiting for people to buy the books you’ve posted, you can temporarily pile them up together to build a bedside table. 

Just be creative and stack them with style for an attractive finish.

If you want to, you can even wrap the book with clean white bond paper for uniformity. 

Make sure you won’t glue them all together so you won’t have a super heavy, unmovable bedside table. 

9. Have a garage sale

Sometimes, we don’t just have useless textbooks lying around; we have tons of stuff we don’t need. 

One of the best ways to declutter is to have a garage sale.

Not only is it a powerful way to socialize, but it’s also a means to make ends meet. 

You can feature your old textbooks and even bundle them together. There’s also no shame in selling the old school stuff that you no longer use. 

Of course, you have to remember that you can’t sell them at a high price. But, hey, a garage sale has other benefits like making friends and building rapport with your not-so-friendly neighbors. 

10. Make planters out of very old textbooks

Good-condition books aren’t ideal for this tip as it’s going to destroy all of your textbooks’ value. 

But if you want to, though, no one will stop you.

All you need is a cutter, and that’s it.

What you want to do is just make a hole out of every old textbook. The older the book, the better — usually, antiqued ones are soft and easy to cut.

Once you have a hole, it’s all creativity.

You can set your cactus, succulents, and other small plants in the hole. 

We swear it will look stunning and artistic. It is quite an expensive move, but it’s one way to make an old textbook useful. 

Conclusion: Recycle and be creative

Today, as the world is getting more crowded, pollution is inevitable.

Although we don’t have the answers to stopping it instantly, we do have solutions to slow it down and minimize the damage. 

Whenever you have something that no longer seems useful to you, please don’t throw it away. 

Instead, find ways that can make it useful again. If it’s not valuable to you, it may be for others. So do sell, donate, or create something new out of your old textbooks.