Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
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How to make $95 for 50 hours hard labor.

Illustration for article titled How to make $95 for 50 hours hard labor.

This is a reasonable approximation of my basement. It would have been worse if there weren’t 300 books on my kindle. We will be moving in the next year or so and will not have room to store all my books, so I needed to get rid of them.


The inventory was approximately:

  • 1500 mass market paperbacks. Almost all of them SF. Almost nothing less than 5 years old because that is when I got a Kindle.
  • 300 Hardcover and trade paperbacks.
  • 250 Music CD’s.
  • 100 DVD’s and Blu-Ray’s of movies.

The books were in various conditions. Some were caked with dust, but there was no mold or rot. My goals were, in order:

  1. Get them out of my house.
  2. Keep them out of a landfill - especially the digital media. Paper could at least be recycled.
  3. Hope somebody else gets some enjoyment out of them.
  4. If I get a little money, I won’t turn it away.

I tried to donate them, but the local library said they didn’t have the space or manpower to accommodate my collection. So I called Half Price Books. I told them I had books. A lot of books. Maybe 2,000 books. Also some other stuff. Could they take that? They assured me no collection was too big or too small, they would take it.


I spent a week transferring the music to my computer, a day or three bagging and boxing it all, and an hour loading it into two cars. They helped me unload it and since they had dollies and carts, that went a lot faster. They went through it all in about an hour and gave me...$95, cash American!

The manager explained that they didn’t really have enough storage space (contrary to what I was told on the phone) so she could only keep a third or half of the books, but she was really happy to get some of my old Asimov, Heinlein, and Clarke paperbacks. They are popular and she can never get enough. She would send some of the rest to their Dollar Store outlet and donate the rest to various libraries because she agreed a single local branch could not handle it all. She admitted that if I would have brought in a little bit every few weeks she probably could have given me more in the long run, maybe double or even triple. If I would have sold every single item on Amazon, Craig’s List, or elsewhere, I probably could have gotten 10 times as much, but that would have been much more work and if you check out my goals above, this arrangement met them all pretty well.


I don’t think my situation is unique, so I hope this info helps some people.

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