Donations are the lifeblood of this literary micro-business. We take anything dropped off at the store and we occasionally do pickups for people who live nearby. We filter for the books that are in good enough condition to sell, which we then process and put on the shelves.
As we now know, about fifty per cent of the books we get in sell within six months. Unsold books make their way into the shed for our quarterly clearance sale, and after that into the recycling bin with our regrets if we can’t convince anyone to take them home.
We get lots of people who have run out of room or are moving to a smaller house, or someone has died, or someone has moved away. These days, thanks are probably due to Marie Kondo as well. Perhaps the books that do not spark joy for you, will do so for someone else.
This chart shows the breakdown of stock by source for all the books we have sold that we can track in each of the the last six months. Donations make up about three quarters. The books that we buy at op shops and bookfairs account for just under 20 per cent. The other five per cent is new books, plus a small number of uncommon sourcing situations.
One helpful connection we have made is with Junk Run, an environmental-award-winning waste management company that has been operating in Auckland since 2005. They collect unwanted things from residential, commercial and construction customers and redistribute them for reuse or recycling. The idea is to minimise the amount of stuff going in to landfill and maximise redistribution by building networks of people who are keen on resource recovery, and by supporting charitable and community organisations, collectors, artisans and enthusiasts. Ka pai to that.
For us, Junk Run delivers unwanted books from residential customers. So handy. And they have a sharp eye for the occasional rare book as well, which always brings a twinkle to our eyes.
So if you have just books to be rid of and you live nearby, give us a shout. But if your storage problems run to other things or you find yourself further afield in the Super City, drop Junk Run a line.