Tag Archives: spring cleaning

Spring cleaning – what to do with your old books

Originally uploaded by Mistress B

In Japan, the days leading up to New Year’s Day are the time for spring cleaning. We had two guests for New Year, so we did quite a bit of “spring cleaning”. We also threw away a lot of old things that were just taking up space.

I have a lot of books. Some of them I no longer want. They are mostly in good condition. It seems a shame to just throw them in the garbage.

I tried re-selling them on Amazon. You need to register as a seller, but once that is done, the process is fairly simple (but not VERY simple – I had to get my sons to help me read the Japanese instructions from time to time). Yes, I sell on Amazon Japan. Why? Because Japan is where my bank account is. To sell on Amazon UK (for instance), I need a UK bank account, which I don’t have.

I started selling books on Amazon over 9 months ago. How’s buiness? Slow! Nothing happened until last month when suddenly 2 people bought a couple of my books. I was selling English books, not Japanese books, and this is Japan, not England, so …

What alternatives are there to re-selling your old books on Amazon? One alternative is to give your books away. A Google search found these two online book-exchange sites:

  1. みんなの物々交換
  2. Bookmooch

They both seem to work the same way:

  • You list the books (or CDs or whatever) that you want to give away,
  • and you also list the books or CDs that you want,
  • and the website searches its customer database to find someone who wants what you are giving away,
  • and someone who is giving away what you are looking for.

Bookmooch is international and works in English, which is easier for me, so I have been using that. It works on a point system. When you offer a book, you get 0.1 points. When you send a book to someone not in your country, you get 2 points. You can then use those points to “buy” books that you want on Bookmooch.

I offered 10 books, and I got 6 requests in just a few days. Most of the books I am selling are not popular books, so I was impressed. Although I am giving the books away and in addition I must pay for postage, I have been enjoying getting rid of my books in this fashion. As the Japanese say すっきりします!

I can also use Bookmooch to request books that I want. Instead of paying for them with money, I “pay” for them using my Bookmooch points. I just asked Bookmooch if any Bookmooch member is giving away “Wind, Sand and Stars”, but unfortunately not.

Do you have a good way to get rid of your unwanted books, or to buy books cheaply?

Bookmooch - click on the image to visit Bookmooch
Bookmooch - click on the image to visit Bookmooch