What to Do With Your Outdated Law Library?

Law books in a row
By William Vogeler, Esq. on June 19, 2019 3:00 PM

Some people are nostalgic about old printed books. Don't be that person when it comes to your outdated law books.

Unless you have a first edition of Black's Law Dictionary, those old books are probably good for little more than decoration at your office. They do look nice along a blank wall, until somebody notices they are criminally outdated. Then they are just embarrassing.

In any case, we're not book collectors here. We're just here to tell you what to do with that outdated law library.

Sell

If you have textbooks from law school, your local law school library may pay a pittance for them. But they aren't the only ones trying to turn your trash into cash.

Services like Cash4Books offer a way to sell old textbooks online. Enter your book's ISBN, and they'll tell you what it's worth.

There are old book shops out there, too, if you want to Google them near you. We're talking used booksellers, not Barnes & Noble.

Donate

If you are lucky, somebody will take those old books off your hands and save you the pedaling time. Law students are beggars by definition, and many new lawyers are worse off because now they have to pay back their student loans.

If you don't know anybody like that, public libraries often accept donated books. They won't pick them up for you, but they might have a drop box to make donations easier.

Recycle

If selling and donating don't work for you, there are at least 10 ways to recycle old books. Recycling doesn't always mean throwing into a recycle bin. For example, you can:

  • Release books into the wild
  • Turn pages into wallpaper, gift tags or envelopes
  • Make a "free books" box for a local shop or other location

Whatever you do, however, do not pack up your old law books and carry them around for years. They will just become even more outdated, and every time you lift those boxes you will be tempted to burn them.

And there's probably a law against that somewhere in one of those old books.

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