Books on gardening for our UNICEF project (Gardening.ygoy / Willem)

Today, I discovered an interesting posting on the Gardening.ygoy website :

Knowing that the 7 engineers, working on the UNICEF project ‘Family Gardens and School Gardens for the Sahrawi refugees in S.W. Algeria’, do not dispose of any library or personal books on gardening, I have submitted a comment to this ygoy-message.

Please read the following and see what you could do to help us :

Easy Ways to Dispose off the Gardening Books

You buy so many books on gardening or your friends may also gift you many. At the end your bookshelves get filled with many books you don’t need any more. They just take up space and collect dust. Here are some useful options on what you can do with them.

Re-sell them – The best way to get back even half of the amount you have spent on buying books is – resell them on Amazon or list for auction on Ebay. This way you can easily clean up your shelves and put some money back in your pocket.
Join BookCrossing – It is a cool idea to get rid of books. What you need to do is just register your books online at You can set your books “free” by leaving them on a park bench, in a cafe or a bus port, and later you can easily track the books’ whereabouts via the same site.
Donate them to Adopt A Library – You can donate the books you don’t need to “Adopt A Library” []. They forward these books onto schools, prisons and other areas where others can benefit from using them.
Donate to a local library or charity – If the books you don’t want anymore are still in a better condition, then most libraries and charities accept them happily. Anyhow it doesn’t result in any monetary benefit to you, but you can feel happy for your books benefiting someone.
Recycle as gifts – If you think the book you don’t need can be of great help to someone you know, gifting that book is a great idea. As you know – books are the greatest gifts one can keep lifelong -, so you are gifting the greatest gift your friend will sure like.
Make an ideas file – Even the worst gardening book will have at least one or two photographs or pages with useful tips that you can cut out and paste into a scrapbook of useful ideas. Then, you can the rest of the book.
Turn them into compost – If you can’t find any of the above options working or if no one is interested in taking them or buying them, then you have only one easy option left – make them useful to your garden. A book thrown away takes a few years to break down. Instead tear it into strips, soak it in water before adding to the heap, and it will compost.

So next time onwards don’t think the books you don’t need no one needs or completely useless. Make them useful by following any of the above ideas, and be happy your book is alive somewhere.

One Response to “Easy Ways to Dispose off the Gardening Books”

  1. Prof. Dr. Willem Van Cotthem (Belgium) on August 11th, 2007 11:30 am

    Working with UNICEF ALGERIA on a humanitarian project, called “Family Gardens and School Gardens in the refugee camps of the Sahrawis” in S.W. Algeria, we would be very grateful receiving books on vegetables and on fruit production (in English or in Spanish) for the library of the 7 Sahrawis agronomists with whom we are taking care of the follow-up of this project. Your gifts would be a very valuable contribution to the success of this remarkable initiative, in which we teach these former nomads and fishermen and -women to become self-sufficient for food production. Any books on gardening techniques in both languages are most welcome on my address : BEEWEG, 36 – B9080 ZAFFELARE (Belgium). We count on your goodwill and comprehension. Sincere thanks.


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Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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