• Inside American Education by Thomas Sowell

American Education is in the Dumpster

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Urban Hike 1 May 2011

Books that don't sell eventually get recycled - it took restraint not to engage in some dumpster diving here. For example - Inside American Education by Thomas Sowell looked interesting

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nancyabcde, Bibliothecarius_Optimus, and 5 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. meadowmom 32 months ago | reply

    Interesting...they used to tear the covers off....

  2. RebeccaRJ 32 months ago | reply

    ! Can't they be donated anywhere?

  3. Mustang Koji 32 months ago | reply

    This is interesting. I've purchased some used books on WWII and when I received them, they had marks they were once part of a public library. Is this what happens sometimes?

  4. wanderingnome 32 months ago | reply

    If these are library books then they are probably not in good enough shape to sell. It also depends on where the library gets their funding for the books. If the books were purchased with tax-payer supported funding, they may not be allowed to sell them. Some Friends of the Library groups do not want discarded library books. Books that contain outdated information are not wanted by most groups that might ordinarily accept donations.

    However, after looking at the large size of the image, it looks to me like these were part of somebody's personal collection that they were unable or unwilling to donate. Most public libraries would not add items this old to their collections. Ever try to donate a set of encyclopedias? Nobody wants them.

  5. meadowmom 32 months ago | reply

    I thought these were discards from a used book store....I guess getting rid of outdated or decrepit library books without enraging the public has always been more of a problem.
    Many years ago there was a wonderfully witty piece in Library Journal about backing a huge unmarked truck up to the library door after midnight, driving it nonstop across the country to the nuclear test site in Nevada and unloading it just before detonation :-)

  6. brewbooks 32 months ago | reply


    These are from a used book store - a very good one near the University of Washington (Seattle area). These are books that di not sell in the clearance section. The same thing also happens with libraries - we are pretty activity with our local Friends of the Library - and when we are done with our used book sale, what's left needs to go somewhere. In recent years, there is a bookseller that comes in and takes everything that is left. But eventually a lot of books end up being recycled.

  7. franceseattle 24 months ago | reply

    Good thing you didn't read Thomas Sowell's book. He's an excellent writer, a careful researcher, and true scholar. The book about education paints an extremely grim picture of our educational system. And as the daughter of a retired university professor with an inside view, I'm very much afraid Dr. Sowell is spot on the money. Still you can get this from the public library system, I believe.
    Re: de-acquisitioning books---I believe a federal regulation was passed requiring resellers of old books to have them analyzed for allergens before re-sale. I don't know if it was became law or not, but many of us were very upset because the result would be the destruction of many books due to the onerous process not to mention cost of having the books examined. Particularly at risk were thought to be old used children's books.

  8. brewbooks 24 months ago | reply

    Sowell sounds like an author I should read, thanks.

  9. heygreyeyes 22 months ago | reply


    Our local libraries have a few shelves of used books for sale- adds a few cents to the system, but also lets folks who can't buy at the exorbitant prices a chance to own gently used books.

  10. brewbooks 22 months ago | reply

    We help do a sale at our local library which raises about $4000 a year
    Friends of the Shoreline Library Book sale

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