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‘Vintage’ Books Of Knowledge.

(17 Posts)
Calendargirl Thu 07-Jan-21 16:02:25

Didn’t know if I should post this under the ‘Books’ forum.

Sorting through my bookshelves, a whole shelf is devoted to eight big, heavy Books Of Knowledge, circa 1950’s, plus an even bigger and heavier dictionary.

Since retiring, I have de-cluttered a lot of stuff, but balk at the idea of disposing these monstrosities. They were used as reference books by my sister and me, and a bit by my own children, but obviously not required by anyone nowadays.

Charity shops don’t want them, neither do car boots. I know I should just bin (re-cycle) them, but I get a vision of my dear old dad buying them, with hard earned money, off a door-to-door salesman back in the day, lured by the sales pitch that his offspring would end up on University Challenge probably, with the help of these books.

What would you do with them?

Greyduster Thu 07-Jan-21 16:10:14

We still have a complete set of sixteen Caxton encyclopaedias that we bought in 1968, when our son was almost a year old. It came with two huge Oxford Dictionaries which have been well thumbed over the years. The children did get some use out of them, I have to say, pre computers, and they look very handsome in the book case to this day, even though they are now totally redundant. They’ll have to go one day, but not just yet, and when the time comes, I won’t know quite how to get rid of them either.

Oopsadaisy1 Thu 07-Jan-21 16:14:39

Put them on eBay and see if it’s worth selling them, otherwise put them into the loft and forget about them for now.

Oopsadaisy1 Thu 07-Jan-21 16:15:39

Set of 8 on eBay £59.99

Urmstongran Thu 07-Jan-21 16:16:20

You have an emotional attachment to those books Calendargirl. Many lovely memories.

I’d photograph them, individually, also on the book shelf, some shots of open pages as a tangible reminder. Then get rid.

BlueBelle Thu 07-Jan-21 16:21:27

Callander girl I am in exactly the same position I have a set 10 (or is it 12) of Arthur Mees encyclopaedia that my Dad took such great pride in I believe my gran and grandad also paid a weekly salesman and they were not at all well off had five children in a two up two down that now looks like a dolls house
Selling on eBay is one thing but the price of posting them would be beyond what they are worth I think I know you can collect only but then it brings it down to just your area

SueDonim Thu 07-Jan-21 16:25:45

You could contact a second hand book seller to see if they are of any value. We ditched a load of my dad’s books after he died, although I do not remember ever having seen them while he was alive so where he kept them, I do not know. confused

Callistemon Thu 07-Jan-21 16:27:00

I have a set of those too, Calendargirl, a present for passing the 11+ plus a bicycle so I could get to my new school!

If you have an Oxfam shop near you, you could ask if they will send them to one of their bookshops, I think they have sets for sale for about £50.

Callistemon Thu 07-Jan-21 16:29:21

I used to delve into them a lot and read all the stories.
Of course, they are no use to a modern child but have a vintage appeal.

The Red Cross etc will just bin them - I think it's only Oxfam who deal in vintage books.

Maggiemaybe Thu 07-Jan-21 16:42:49

I was just going to suggest Oxfam myself, Callistemon. We’ve taken things to the Oxfam bookshop in Bradford before now and they’ve several floors absolutely packed with all sorts of newish and old books and magazines (and they always had lots of customers browsing). I wouldn’t drop them off at any old Oxfam store though - the staff at ours hadn’t even heard of the bookshop and I got the impression that if I’d left my old annuals with them they’d have just ended up in the bin, even though I knew some of them were worth a few quid.

moggie57 Thu 07-Jan-21 16:45:42

we had some of the big red books . i kept them for a while years really ,.but when pcs came out they got made redundant. so i think i gave them away or someone bought them ,anyway they not here now .bit old fashioned really ..

Maggiemaybe Thu 07-Jan-21 16:46:56

There are also some online sites like, where you just enter the ISBN and they’ll give you a price if it’s something they’re interested in. They never seem to want my old tat vintage collectibles though.

Callistemon Thu 07-Jan-21 16:51:48

Maggiemaybe our local Oxfam store was rather sniffy about books - only the latest paperbacks, please!! And for anything worth any money they did a deal with a local vintage bookshop where I wouldn't send any books anyway.

Oopsadaisy1 Thu 07-Jan-21 17:13:10

Blubelle buyer pays the postage on EBay not the seller

welbeck Thu 07-Jan-21 17:22:01

there are specialist oxfam bookshops.
they attract eccentrics, collectors who might like those.

welbeck Thu 07-Jan-21 17:25:38

Calendargirl Fri 28-May-21 09:40:29

Just an update on my past request for advice.

The books have sat in a corner of the spare bedroom in a box for the past four months.

Yesterday, I took them to a charity shop, not in our town, that I knew had a dedicated book room. To my delight, they accepted them, said they would try and sell them, but if not, would be ‘recycled’ in some way. Would not go to landfill.

Felt a bit sad, daft I know, sad but quite liberated smile.