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!