If you’re like me, you spend most of your money on (probably overpriced) books. I don’t have access to a library with a decent selection of books in english, and it’s hard to find those second-hand, too – so I end up buying most of my books, on sale when in lucky, or full price if I’m desperate and want to read them ASAP.
This means that I really do my best to enjoy all of my books. It’s always heartbreaking when I buy a bad one and can’t just return it, but that’s life, and these things are bound to happen. So I have a few solutions that might help you if you just bought a book and DNFed it (or just hated it and don’t want to keep it, been there, done that).
So… it’s not impossible to return a book you just bought and didn’t like. I know a friend of a friend of a friend who… buys her books, asks for a gift receipt, starts the book, and if she doesn’t like it, she simply returns it. As someone who always follows the rules (I know, I’m boring), the idea of this makes me feel a little uncomfortable, so I never tried to do it, BUT it’s an option worth considering. By the way, I don’t know if it’s possible to return a book without a gift receipt, simply because you want to exchange it for another one? I’d consider that option.
My favorite option by far, selling a book won’t give you back the time you lost, but it’ll get you at least part of your money back. I’m not that good at promoting my “book sales” online, which is why I haven’t managed to sell that many, but it’s my favorite way to get rid of my books and make sure they go to a new, loving home. You can start a depop account, maybe an instagram page for your mini bookstore, or join a buy/sell/trade facebook group, which is what I did.
You can also sell your books to second-hand bookshops. I don’t think we have this option here in Portugal, but chances are it’s something you can do in other countries, and I probably would do it, given the chance. You can also trade your books for store credit.
Many facebook groups for book buyers and sellers also work as book trade groups, which is another great way to get rid of a book and instantly get another one in return. It can be hard to find someone who wants your book and has the book you want, but when you do, it’s a match made in heaven.
Give it as a gift
I also know a friend of a friend of a friend who gives the books she bought and didn’t like as gifts to people who might like them. I never did that, because 1., my books always look incredibly worn out so I couldn’t get away with saying they’re new and 2., I’d feel bad for giving someone something I initially bought for myself. However, I have no problem giving my books to friends if I believe they’ll like them, and will tell them that I bought the book for myself, but it wasn’t to my liking.
If everything else fails and you still need space on your shelves, at the end of the day, you can always donate your books. To a library, maybe some kind of institution, or someone who might need them. You won’t get your money back, but you might just make someone else fall in love with reading – and wouldn’t that be amazing?