Geo-whiz! front coverGeo-Whiz
National Geographic Society

Another choice from my Swedish Death Cleaning Project.

I am assuming by the publication date this was a book given to one or both of my kids.  Both of my kids were science nerds, so it does make sense that we might have something like this. We were library users so we really didn’t buy books for the kids that often.

Since my kids are now 28 and 30, I doubt they want to hang on to this. Frankly, we still have so much of their stuff, it will have to be a part 2 (of many parts) of my death cleaning project. Even though it is in good shape, I am going to give it the big heave ho. What I am NOT going to do is donate to my local public library.



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  1. Here’s a question for all you librarians out there. What is your opinion of donations from the public? I do not want to burden my library with a bunch of garbage, so if I ever have books to get rid of, I ask my local library if they accept donations, and they always say, yes, please bring them in!

    Are they just trying to be nice? I am under no illusions that they will put my books in the collection–I assume they will be sold in a book sale. But do libraries really like that?

    1. I’m not a librarian but I teach at a university. My late husband was a literature professor beginning in the 60’s who bought books as well as accepted every free inspection copy he was sent from publishers.. He also haunted the library book sales. When he died, I offered his books (60 boxes) to our university library. They didn’t want them. Then I offered them for free on Craigslist. No one wanted them. Then a month later, I offered them on Craigslist for $500 and ended up getting several offers. The books were gone in 3 days.

    2. Material donations – a touchy subject! At my library, we have generally accepted all material donations (until this pandemic, anyways!). What would shock most patrons, however, is that the vast majority of donations end up in the trash (we actually send them to the recycling center and pretend that they get recycled, but we suspect they just get trashed anyway.) We generally only add things to the library collection if they’re less than three years old, or maybe if it’s a copy of something in better shape than what we have, or if it’s of local interest. We give a lot of the materials to our Friends of the Library book sale, but only if they’re items in good condition. On the positive side, our book sale does bring in quite a bit of revenue. Children’s books in good condition always move fast in the sale! Old college text books and scientific tomes, not so much …

      1. This makes me feel a bit better! I try to give my best-quality stuff to the library, medium stuff to the used bookstore, and everything else to the trash. I wish there were a recycling place near me that accepted books!

        I’m actually not shocked to hear that you have to recycle/trash most of it–I have seen some people trying to donate some pretty squirrelly stuff, like old magazines. And once I saw a patron totally throwing down when the librarian informed her that her books would not be added to the collection. I can see why you keep that info on the DL. (Also, am I the only one who sold my college textbooks IN college, pretty much the moment the class was over? )

        1. No, I did that too with most textbooks. It was the only way to make money off them.

          Except for some textbooks that like, I’d pay $80 for it and they’d only pay me 25 cents for it. And I was like I would rather have it collect dust in a closet than sell it to you for that price.

      2. That makes me feel like I should donate more. I have a lot of new books in good condition. The publication date may be old but they’re still newly made books. Like, reprints of older books. I have a whole bunch that I don’t know what I’m going to do with.

  2. I USED (read: read) THIS ONE!! The Soviet Union question on 80 is what made me look up, in a newer book than our 1989 (?) NG Atlas, where all the parts of the USSR that left were located. Possibly that is where I learned that dangling thing in Asia by Alaska is called Kamchatka.

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