The books I remove say a lot about where I am in my book journey. A few years ago I came across a second-hand bookstore that dealt in scholarly books. Wow, I thought. Someone who might actually want all of those books on India that I'm no longer going to use. I pulled out a couple hundred books (and it took that many to free up space that I could actually notice) and carted them into Somerville. I got a fair price and left happy. I made a few trips in, browsing and buying at least one book to take home with me. But that store has closed, and my eagerness to weed out books has waned. If I pull out another one or two hundred, what will I do with them.
I have a couple of outlets for my old books. Libraries and their books sales are an obvious one. But some of my books are probably not going to find a new home even through library sales. I know a couple of second hand bookstores that occasionally want something I have, and I'm glad to sell them. But I still have a stack of older novels, general interest nonfiction books (some picked up a thrift shops or yard sales), and a few outdated reference books. For now these sit in paper bags cluttering up my library because I cannot bring myself to throw them away. I am convinced that all books can be recycled. I may be wrong, but I'm not yet ready to give in to the inevitable.
I'll keep looking for outlets for used books and asking others what they do. Until then, my village of paper bags stuffed with books continues to grow. And, alas, I continue to buy books, new and used, and pass around some of my favorites.