Selling Used Books on Amazon, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

I’ve been selling used books on for just over two years now. I still have a few boxes of Bob’s books to go through, so a look “inside” one of the remaining boxes seemed like a good challenge to get me started sorting books again.

Inside a box of books that was inside my basement.

What’s inside the box? Here’s the top layer.

 I brought the first armload of books upstairs on Friday night. Here’s one…sHistory of Pi by Petr Beckmann

Synchronicity: It was Saturday morning before I actually looked at the books I’d brought up, and saw I’d missed discovering History of Pi on Pi-Day (3/14) by just a few hours.

The most modest author bio award goes to Don Lancaster for The Incredible Secret Money Machine. 

Incredible Secret Money Machine

Back cover of The Incredible Secret Money Machine

Plus, any idea related to Kurt Vonnegut’s books (granfalloons!) must be worth reading. I listed this one for sale but maybe I should read it first.

When unpacking Bob’s books I’m always amazed at the breadth of his interests. I admit I’ll be more than a little sad to finish cleaning out this particular corner of the basement. The books are the only window left into that ever-active mind, and though I know I need to disperse these things, I do it with a tinge of regret. From Droodles to the Decameron to The Theory of Parsing, Translation, and Compiling in this box alone, I can’t imagine that he ever got bored. I see now that in its own way, sorting through his books is one more illustration of going inside.

The Snake, by John Crompton

The Snake

Tally from this box:  19 listed for sale on, 20 to donate, and 1 to keep (OK maybe for just a little while).

Which one am I keeping?  The Snake seems like a practical choice for a woman with a yard full of ground-covers, (and it is St. Patrick’s Day today) but I’m feeling sticky-fingered about some of the others too, so I may change my mind.

Here’s a visual list of books I’ll give to friends or donate.

Visual List of books to Donate

Of those books I listed for sale this weekend, one sold this morning: Object Oriented Programming, an Evolutionary Approach, by Brad J Cox and Andrew J Novobilski.  More sychronicity: the matryoshka dolls on the cover make another nice illustration of “inside”.

Russian Nested Dolls, Illustrating "Inside" - Object Oriented Programming.

Illustrating “Inside” – Object Oriented Programming.

I got carried away and sorted two more boxes after finishing this one. They contained the entire set of Harvard Classics: Five Foot Shelf of Books. That’s a set of 51 books. I’ll have to puzzle over what’s best to do with those.  Do you have any suggestions?  (a little quiet reading while I’m thinking about it is always a possibility)

To see more of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside, click here.

10 thoughts on “Selling Used Books on Amazon, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

  1. You are selling books on Amazon and we are buying them. We are going to Malta and Sicily this spring and I bought a Malta guidebook on Amazon for one penny. I guess some one made a buck on the shipping, I hope so.

    Yesterday we cleaned out a cupboard. Some stuff went to the thrift store and I took a load of books to the library to donate. We have a new fangled automated return system (one simply puts donation books in the return) and I had some trouble with it. A nice young lady helped me and when I asked her to make sure the one CD I was returning was indeed returned I noticed that she had set one of the donated books aside. Siddharta, by Herman Hesse. She is probably not supposed to do that as the library sells the books. When I mentioned it she looked a little sheepish but if she reads the book it is fine with me.

    Keep up the good work.

    • On Amazon: I think the penny-books (which I’ve bought too!) work for big sellers, who have a different arrangement on Amazon’s cut of the sale. A trip to Malta and Sicily sounds great, so I hope to see some blog posts on that.
      I’m with you on getting the books to whoever wants them… and, if I remember correctly, I kept Bob’s copy of Siddhartha.

  2. That book on Pi was surely shouting your name and feeling frustrated that you didn’t hear until the next day. Oh, dear, when I imagine my own books talking (shouting,even!) it may mean something dire. I’ll sort my books quietly, I hope. I’m glad for you that you didn’t hear poor Pi.

    • Now that you mention it, books do speak to us, don’t they? (There is a low murmur coming from that corner of the basement) On Amazon, it sometimes takes a long time for them to sell, so I know I need to get through the boxes to get them listed soon, but there’s a certain comfort to knowing they’re still “there”. I don’t have an e-reader. Do you suppose they speak to us as clearly as ‘real’ books?

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