Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Donate your books

Let me ask you a question. Are you like me, incapable of walking past a bookshop or pop-up book stall without buying anything? I thought so. Oh remember I made a resolution not to buy any more books? Ha ha. What utter rubbish.

I already own a lot of books. Some still wrapped in plastic! I think I'm a compulsive book buyer. Despite the current digital age we live in, I'm never into digital books. I enjoy the feel of a book.

Unfortunately, I don't live in a large apartment. Space is precious. Right now I have books lying everywhere. Just two weeks ago, I simply couldn't resist the awfully awfully low price of new books at a pop up - 50 cents to $5. Are you kidding me? I dragged hubs there and came home with 7 or 8 books. Most are still wrapped in plastic.

So the only sensible thing to do is to get rid of some of my old books. In the past I tried giving them away. But you know what? People don't always want your old stuff. Then I sold some to the karang guni man (recycling). He gave me like $1.50 for a huge bag of books. Later he confided that he doesn't care for books and he treats them as trash. So what's he saying? He was doing me a favour? I didn't like the idea that the karang guni man was trashing my books so I decided to find better homes for them.

Woodlands Regional Library

I go to the library quite often and I notice there is a Book Exchange Corner at some of the libraries. What you do is you leave the books you want to donate which are hopefully in good condition on the shelves and anyone can take the book. Seriously, no conditions. I myself have found a number of good reads. Strangely the Book Exchange Corner is not available at every library. Just at the following locations:
Ang Mo Kio, Woodlands Regional, Bedok, Geylang Easy, Marine Parade, Tampines Regional, Bukit Merah, Jurong Regional, Jurong West, Queenstown, Bishan, Central and Toa Payoh.

Once I was at Central library and I saw two men grab EVERY book from the shelves. I get the feeling they did not take the books to read. The Book Exchange Corner can only work if people take what they need and not grab the books to sell.

Another thing is at Woodlands Regional library, I often see sales brochure or religious pamphlets. I'm not talking about one or two pieces but a whole stack. I think that is so rude. Sometimes I get so irritated by the behaviour of locals.

 I left these books at Woodlands Regional library. I hope they find the right audience.

Jurong Regional Library

At Jurong Regional library, the space for the Book Exchange is smaller but so much more civilized. Maybe it's because the shelf is very close to the security guard?

Near Ng Teng Fong Hospital

Anyway I've discovered two other places where I can donate my books - Dignity Mama Stall. Dignity Mama Stall sells pre-loved books and the stall is run by youth with special needs and their moms help to provide guidance and co-work with them.

There are 3 drop off locations - NUH Medical Centre, Dignity Kitchen and Ng Teng Fong Hospital. You can get the address here.

I go to NUH Medical Centre almost weekly for acupuncture so it's convenient for me to drop off my books. The other location, Ng Teng Fong Hospital is also quite close to my home and seriously, my family goes to that area a lot. So bit by bit, I will slowly move my older books to Dignity Mama. Which will give me room for more new books.


Jane McLellan said...

That's a really good idea. It would be a shame for books to be trashed or to clutter up your home, but if someone else can enjoy them, happy days. Our library has been closed for a couple of years for renovation. I really miss it! Hopefully it will open soon and then I'll donate the books we had to buy when it was closed.

Projects By Jane said...

Hi Jane, to be honest, we are quite spoilt. We have 25 public libraries and one huge national reference library. Yes, for such a small country! I try not to buy books available at the library. Occasionally I get a book crush and had to own it. The library buys so many new books every year.

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