How to Pay the Love of Reading Forward with the Gift of Books

During this past month there have been so stresses in my life I haven’t spent any time on writing blog posts. I have spent some time taking care of myself to heal some of the emotional wounds that have been building for a long time.

One way I took care of myself was to go to the annual St. Louis Book Fair. It is sponsored by Macy’s as a fundraiser to benefit local non-profit education and literacy programs. It’s been going on for 60 years. I remember going with my mother and sisters when I was a child.

Because I have way too many books for my current bookshelves (their double stacked already) I have avoided going to the fair for about 5 or 6 years. This year was different. It was time to get back to doing something I love. But it also required making a promise to myself to declutter some of the old books so I don’t feel guilty about buying new ones.

With some birthday money (my birthday was last Thursday) I went to the book fair on Friday. I ended up buying 19 books.  Some were cookbooks (3) and the rest were non-fiction books.  I didn’t even go over to the fiction book section because I still have a few I haven’t read yet.



On Saturday I found a box and started going through one shelf at a time to pull out some books I could get rid of. If you’re a booklover like I am you know how hard it is to let go of them. Since the majority of my books are non-fiction I always feel like I’m giving away a valuable resource. Even with so much information easily available on the internet I still find it had to let them go.


So far I have 23 books in my box. Yea me! Since I bought 5 books last week at Goodwill (first time there in over a year) plus the 19 books bought at the book fair I feel I have done pretty well so far. Even with pulling that many books off the shelves I still don’t have enough room for the new books.  Therefore I will get another box and work on filling that one.  I have four more bookcases like the two below.


My local Macy’s store collects books year round for this book fair. My goal is to have a least 30 and hopefully 40 books to take to the loading dock by next week.  I’ll be paying it forward so those books can be sold next year to help support the education and literacy programs. That way more children and adults will be able to learn how to read all the magic and knowledge that books contain between their covers.

There are lots of ways to pay the love of reading forward.  I remember one year I had a garage sale and because it was cold and rainy there were very few customers. Right before closing up a young woman came in looking for children’s books which I had a few. She said she was going to be a new 1st grade teacher in the fall and was buying reading books for her classroom. I gave her the whole pile of books for free. It felt so good to help out a new teacher that would be able to instill the love of reading to her many students.

So pay the love of reading forward by donating your books to a charity, local school, or a new teacher starting out. If you’re not reading them anymore then they aren’t doing anyone any good sitting on your shelves.

To a lighter load along the way.



If you’re planning on having a garage sale be sure to check out the eBook:

“How To Declutter With A Garage Sale”

It will help you from start to finish with clearing the clutter out of your home.

2 thoughts on “How to Pay the Love of Reading Forward with the Gift of Books”

  1. I was thinking of doing something similar with some of my beloved cook books. I thought I could give some to my sisters or friends or perhaps the library. I have given away all my classics as they are online for free now. Both my husband and I like yourself have bought many other books, many not read yet. I asked Michael who is a history teacher to bring any of the historical non-fiction we have read to his classroom. Finally, he has parted with some. It is a work in progress.

    1. I agree that it’s a work in progress and always will be. There are constantly new books being written that catch my interest so I have to clear out some old ones. Great idea having your husband bring some of those books to his classroom. That way he can share his love of history books with his students.

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