ARCs & What You Do When You’re Done With Them!

Posted February 13, 2014 by Kaitlynn in discussion / 18 Comments

I’ve been blogging for over 5 years now.  That’s a long time to be getting books.  Not only do I purchase books I want to read but I also get quite a few for review.  Some of them are finished copies but a lot of them are ARCs or Advanced Reader Copies.  The thing about ARCs is that you can’t sell them.  That puts a crimp in my style since I usually just take the books I’m done with to my local used bookstore and sell them for store credit.  So clearly you can see my dilemma.  What do I do with my ARCs when I don’t want them any more?

Over the years, I’ve found a few different ways to get ARCs off my shelves.  It’s not always the easiest thing to do but I always manage to find some creative way to get rid of them.  First off, I know some authors don’t want their ARCs getting around once the book is actually published but I tend to pass mine along anyway.  I know they are unedited and things get changed between ARCs and finished copies but I just can’t throw away a book.  I know so many people who can’t afford to buy their own books and don’t get the chance to go to a library very often so if I have the chance to provide them with some new reading material, I’m going to go for it.

So here’s the first thing I do with my ARCs: give them to friends!  Through work and school I’ve met some awesome people who love to read YA but don’t have the resources to get new books.  I love re-reading books just as much as any other person but you can only re-read a book so many times.  When I first met some of my friends, all they were doing was re-reading the books they had on their shelves.  I definitely remedied that pretty quickly.  They know they’re unedited advanced copies but to them, they’re still just books.  It’s something new for them to read and that’s good enough for them.

Second, I donate to my local library.  ARCs cannot be shelved at libraries but there are still ways for them to be used.  My library has a Teen Advisory Board and they love getting advanced copies to check out and recommend.  It’s a good way for the librarians to find out what to order and sometimes the teens even write mini reviews that get placed with the books on the shelves.  They also sometimes use them for prizes for any teen event they hold at the library.

Another option is to donate to a local hospital or children’s hospital.  I actually work at a hospital so this one is really easy for me.  The waiting rooms have tvs but sometimes people prefer to read and so now we have small shelves in the waiting rooms where visitors can pick up a book to read while they wait.  The volunteers also put books on their carts so when they make rounds, patients and family members can take some books to read during their time at the hospital.  However, some hospitals can be very picky about the conditions of the books so keep that in mind.  Most of mine are like new so they’re usually okay with them but if they’re not in the best shape I would recommend finding something else to do with them.

There are a few more options that I’ve heard about but have yet to try out.  I know some teachers love to get ARCs because they can keep them on their classroom shelves which may not otherwise get a ton of new books.  Womens shelters and other shelters in the community might also be willing to accept ARCs.  Oh and there is always the option of just trading your ARCs with other bloggers or donate them through ARCycling. There’s also the option of recycling your ARCs but I haven’t been able to do that just yet.

So, there you go.  Clean off your shelves and find something good to do with your ARCs!  Feel free to leave more suggestions in the comments!  Like I said, I’m always looking for new ways to get rid of some books!

18 responses to “ARCs & What You Do When You’re Done With Them!

  1. I’ve struggled with finding a place for my arcs too. Sometimes, if they’re really old, I’ll just recycle them. Other times, if they’ve been out for quite some time, I put them on the free table at my library. When I worked in a hotel, I would bring in a bunch and let the substantial staff pick through them. I have been hearing that teachers like them for the classroom, but I haven’t actually taken any to teachers yet. I’m planning on doing that soon though because many of the local schools in my area don’t have school libraries anymore.

    • I don’t know what I would have done if my school didn’t have a library! It was a small one but the town’s library was so tiny they only had about 6 shelves and I didn’t even know it existed until I was in highschool. I lived off of books from my teacher’s libraries and the school library. I think I’ll make a point of donating some of my books to the local schools in the future.

  2. Those are some GREAT ways to get those ARCs off your shelves.
    If I could mention one other way:
    I’LL TAKE EM lol!
    I review books through NetGalley but they’re all ebooks. I’d love to have the actually books! I love collecting books. I never trade them in unless I absolutely did not enjoy it. They have sentimental value, like trophies. Reading is what got me sober. Each book read is like another sobriety token/coin/chip 🙂
    This is a great post, awesome that your sharing! xo ♥

  3. Most of my ARCs are now egalleys, but I still get a few in paper form. These I give to my friends, who love books as much as I do, and appreciate what an ARC and uncorrected proof means to the writer

  4. I really liked how you brought up the hospital. Growing up I’ve had my fair share of visits and I always loved reading books. Our children’s hospital has a library and I always used it when I was admitted. I think it’s a great place for donation and that is where mine will be going.

  5. As a middle school reading teacher, I absolutely love getting ARCs. I don’t care what condition they’re in or if they are brand new or kind of old. Any book that I can put on my shelf for students to read is a wonderful book!

  6. Great ideas! I don’t get ARCs very often, but I’ve come across them. I usually pass on to friends, but the additional library uses and school options were new to me. And the hospital!

  7. These are all great suggestions! I don’t get a lot of ARCs but it’s good to know what options I have if I ever get “popular” enough to on the option list by authors/publishers 😉
    – Krys

  8. There are some great ideas here! Maybe someone should start a list with names/addresses of people who’d like to receive used ARCs, whether they’re teachers, bloggers, hospitals, etc. I don’t love spending money on shipping, but I’d be willing to mail some out every so often to people who want them … or is that how ARCycling works? Also, I know there’s an ARC swap board on

  9. When I was more a more active blogger I’d give them away on my blog, but then I found out I could donate them to public libraries like you said. I think donating them to hospitals is another great way to recycle them 🙂 I don’t know if you’ve heard of this site already but it’s called Arcs Float On, a website where you can donate to teachers who need books for their classrooms: I have a soft spot for teachers (probably because I’m in the process of becoming one myself! Hah!)

    Maybe you could also host twitter giveaways? especially if you have ARCs that are new and shiny and wanted by everyone, lol.

  10. Christina Kit.

    It’s such a good idea to donate books to classrooms! And libraries of course, but especially classrooms in schools where their book budgets aren’t high.

    It’s terrible when arcs are sold – and authors cheated.

    This was a very informative post! Thank you 🙂

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