What to do with Extra Japanese Books?

I have about 500 extra Japanese books ranging from read to your baby to large chapter books such as Sherlock Holmes and Anne of Green Gables. My question is does anyone know what I could do with them? I don’t want to donate them to the library which is my usual option as they’ve been chunking things because of COVID. This collection of books probably cost me about 2K to procure and I just don’t need them anymore, but they’re not the kind of books I want to just chunk in the garbage.


Second-hand bookshop?

There’s even a Japanese second-hand bookshop here in Sydney, so maybe there’s something similar where you live.

(Also, who says the library’s been chucking things? That sounds like a fake rumour.)


Give them to me? :upside_down_face:

But seriously, sell them on eBay or something? If your main goal is helping others out just make sure the delivery/shipping cost is covered and you can give them away.

I don’t know about anyone else here, but I regularly hit the Half Price Books near me just to check their foreign-language section for any kids’ books in Japanese to add to my bookshelf… perhaps it wouldn’t offend our lord Crabigator too much if you were to set up some private secondhand sales to folks here who are scavenging reading materials?

If you’re looking for donations, maybe check with any local Japanese communities in your area that may perhaps appreciate a generous donation. Perhaps it’s a fool’s errand of me to imagine some community or language center with a curated set of Japanese language library books or something, though… :woozy_face:

Barring that, I genuinely think there’s people who may be interested in owning some of these books for their own, so whether you may be able to find that by listing it on Craigslist, eBay, etc. I hope they’ll find a new home.

Any local universities taking donations?


Looking at local universities is a good choice, another might be a community center or similar in your neighbourhood that teaches Japanese? If you have a local forum / facebook group / whatever, it might be worth seeing if someone in your neighbourhood is looking for some Japanese books. Or maybe there is a themed language library in your neighbourhood? I know I came across one for books in Latin several years back, and as others mentioned, ebay or similar is always an option!

X3 If you give them away anyway, I would be probably be interested in some. (I also have some friends who learn Japanese too. So could ask them too.)

Try giving them away/selling them on craigslist.

I’d love to buy some as I’m sure a lot of other people here would. Ebay?

If you have the capacity and capability to ship, maybe offer sales here? Or list on eBay and put links here? To make it simpler, maybe list them as sets. If you can fit a set in a flat rate Priority mail box (assuming you are in the US) you could even pre-pack them and with flat rate you know exactly what the shipping will be. No nasty surprises. And you can schedule pick ups via the USPS as well.

I’d be very happy to buy some physical reading books instead of the text books I’ve been accumulating lately.

I’ve reached out to a few places based on suggestions here. I think if there is no rule against it, maybe I will add my email and people on here that are interested can email me to make a deal for a few or a set. I think in this forum I would actually get people who definitely want them. I don’t need to make a killing off of them, but I definitely need to at least recoup shipping and maybe some of the price for the more valuable materials. I will post some pictures and if you’re interested feel free to email me. If this is not allowed, please let me know and I will edit my post.

I have books from very basic up through chapter books. The pictures here are only about 1/3 to 1/2 of the collection. The rest are behind some boxes, but I can get to them if needed. Most of the collection is for years 1-3 I think, but there are sets for Sherlock Holmes, Anne of Green Gables, Pippi longstocking, and a few others. There’s also a large collection of workbooks and magazines that include some writing and vocab practice and a set of Pokemon books. Also in one of the pictures is a series of textbooks from Genki up that would make a good set for someone that doesn’t have them.

Please email me if you might be interested and include what level of books you are interested in. hzlanep@gmail.com


What? Don’t even think of getting rid of the Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar. :stuck_out_tongue:


Haha my thoughts exactly :rofl:

@ejl2012 It might be helpful to know which country you live in (I‘m guessing USA?) because that will hugely affect the shipping cost and therefore might influence the decision of people whether to get in touch with you or not.

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I didn’t think of that. XP I’m in the US as you presumed!

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I fired over an email. :slight_smile:

Same, email sent. Thank you for the pictures!

Isn’t it normal for libraries to throw away books? I work as a librarian and in my country you can’t even donate books to libraries because we’d need too much staff to evaluate and sort the masses of books we’d get. I’m really surprised that this is a thing in other countries. It is so much extra workload. Most libraries try to donate books or have a flea market (to generate a bit of needed extra income) but if the left overs or books that have a bad quality are often thrown away to be recycled. And donation or flea markets are not always an option in Covid-19 times.

Sure, there’s usually a constant trickle. Because books get old and sometimes they just need more space. Not because of things like COVID.

But yeah, I used to work for the university library, and I never heard of people donating books to it. Though there was the time university administration decided to hand over roughly 20% of our section’s floor area for a giant open-plan office for postgraduates. Much fun was had.

It really depends, while the general library of a university often won’t take donations, certain departments might. For example the Japanology department at a friend’s university had a separate manga library (really for any Japanese literature), and they accepted donations for anything but textbooks and the like (because those were to be found through and had to be purchased by the department library). So, it might depend entirely on the way the university runs stuff.

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