by Phoenix Desertsong, Parent of Book Lovers
The need to recycle paper products becomes more important every day. As more old-growth trees are cut down every day, we rob our planet of valuable oxygen. We have to wait decades to replace these valuable natural resources. Of course, we don’t want our kids to pay the price for that!
While paper products are mostly biodegradable - nearly one hundred percent - a great amount of those include books and magazines. Why send them to a landfill when they’re easy to reuse and recycle?
The truth is that old books and magazines do have cultural and historical value. Not only is a good idea to pass them on, but some can even be valuable to collectors! As your kids are growing up, it’s important to teach them about the value of these printed materials after they are done with them.
Of course, you can also send old books and magazines to the recycling bin, especially if they are quite beat up. But,not all recycling companies accept them just as they are. So, what are some good ways to reuse and recycle books and magazines than simply throwing them away?
Donate Old Books and Magazines to Local or College Libraries
Have a bunch of books and magazines that your kids no longer use? Ask your kids which books and magazines they are willing to let go. All kinds of libraries, both public libraries and school libraries, will happily accept donations of old books and magazines in good condition.
The best condition copies of some of the books you donate will end up on library shelves. Others will be put out on racks for sale. These books will be also often used for running fundraisers to raise money for library improvements. In any case, it’s better than letting them gather dust in your home or storage unit
Sell Valuable Old Books and Magazines
There are many resources online to see what your old books and magazines are worth. Several websites exist that allow you to type in or scan the barcode numbers of mass-market books. They will pay you cash and even send you a shipping label to cover shipping costs. However, be aware they usually pay you a small percentage of what the item is actually worth.
Used bookstores still exist, of course. But, many are very picky with what they’ll buy and some don’t actively buy - but accept donations. Also, not everyone has them locally.
There are always flea markets, too. These can be great events to bring your kids to in order to teach them how to run a sale. But, you want to be sure that you’re actually selling something worth bringing and paying for the table space.
Then there’s garage sales, but they typically aren’t big sellers for books and magazines unless you get lucky. One thing that can sell, though, piles of classic magazines like Highlights, National Geographic, and Sports Illustrated.
Speaking of classic magazines, in great shape, they can be worth money. Covers featuring celebrities or sports stars can fetch good money on eBay. For example, you can find many Time Magazine and Sports Illustrated magazines for sale online.
eBay is your best bet for selling books and magazines with actual demand. It’s easy enough to find out - just check current listings and completed listings and see if your book or magazine is anything that sells.
Creative Ways to Reuse Books and Magazines
For books with illustrations or pictures and magazines that don’t have any resale value, you may decide to use them for creative purposes instead. Magazines in particular make excellent craft supplies for both kids and adults. They make great material for collages or scrapbooks. You can even make DIY hanging mobile art with magazine cutouts. You string thread through holes cut into the tops of the shapes and attach the shapes to a clothes hanger.
Another creative option is cutting out articles or pictures to create a vision board or dream board. These can help you visualize goals and dreams you want to achieve in your life - sort of like a visual bucket list. You can create one alongside your kids, as they are good activities for any age. These can include a dream career, a special vacation, or a fancy new car.
Throwing Unwanted Books and Magazines into the Recycling Bin
Whatever you don’t feel like donating, reselling, or reusing creatively, you can always throw into the recycling bin. This includes books and magazines that are in poor condition or ones you’ve already used for cutouts. You’ll want to check what your local recycling pickup or drop-off center accepts first,
Fortunately, there are more areas accepting books and magazines as-is all the time. This includes even magazines printed on glossy paper. Because glossy paper is in much lower demand than regular paper, recycling companies don’t get as much in return as raw material. But, now some companies will take it anyway.
In some areas, to recycle old books you still have to separate the paper from the bindings, whether there’s adhesive or staples - or both - involved in holding them together. There are companies who can remove these bindings with their machinery. But, having to deconstruct books and magazines just for recycling can be a major hassle. So, donating them may be a better option for you if this type of extra labor is involved.
So, if you and your family have some books and magazines you need out of your way, take these good ways to reuse them in mind. Not only is it a good idea to give people another chance to enjoy them, but keeping them out of landfills is great for the environment. Whatever you do, make sure to reuse and recycle whatever paper products you can to save as many trees as we can. Let’s be sure our kids have a very green future!
We all know books can help create smart children. But the first step is finding the right books. Use this experienced mom's tips for choosing children's books that create smart readers.
When choosing books for your child, there are many factors to consider and many reasons to purchase various books. Choosing children's books that create smart readers comes in several steps. At first it may seem complicated because there are so many books out there. But it's not all that difficult if you follow a few simple tips.
Take your child with you to shop for books Book shopping should not be done hurriedly. First, you must find the section of the store that is appropriate for your child's age and reading level. Once you have done this, allow your child to pick out several titles that look interesting. It's okay if your child picks more books than you are going to buy. You need to research the books first anyway. Don't be afraid to take a whole stack to a nearby table, counter, or chair so that you can sift through them.
Key points to look for:
Stimulation factor - If your child is not stimulated, she will not want to read the book. Have your child look over the book and maybe even read a few pages. If your child is interested, you are one step further. This will be easy for children who are interested in most books. Other children may take a while before finding something they like. That's okay. Each child is different. Do not give up hope if your child takes a while to decide. Your child should pick more than one stimulating book. Stimulating the mind can occur in many different ways. If your child is interested and engaged, chances are, his mind is being stimulated. Some children are stimulated by pictures. Others are stimulated by words, actions, or characters. How your child is stimulated does not matter. However, if your child does not get stimulated by any part of the book, it's time to choose a different book.
It's all in the details - Out of all the stimulating books your child has chosen, look for books that use details in describing characters and events. The books should use adjectives as often as possible. A book without many adjectives could be fairly boring. A book loaded with adjectives will invoke imagination and excitement. Your child should be able to picture what is going on, whether the book has illustrations or not. Also, in checking for details, you should ask yourself "Would I be able to ask my child questions from this book and expect to get detailed answers?" If you can answer yes, you have chosen a book with the correct details.
What levels do you need? - You should have a few books still left to move on to the next step with you. The last thing you should be looking for in a good book is the level. It should be slightly above your child's current level. Books will generally not be labeled at levels, unless they are readers. The best way to tell is to read a few paragraphs. If it is slightly harder than what your child normally reads, that's what you're looking for. The reason for this is to challenge the child. Do not go too high, though. Choosing too high of a level could instead discourage a child because it is simply too difficult to understand. If you can't tell by reading it yourself, have your child read aloud a small section. If your child gets most of it with ease, but struggles on a few words, this is the correct level to choose.
Be variant - Another important thing to remember is that books should be a variety of subjects and genres. Your child should have fiction as well as non-fiction. There should also poetry, short stories, and novels for children old enough to read novels. There should be classic and current books. Also, the child should not be limited to just stories on their favorite thing. The books should be about many different people, places, events, and things.
Tips for success:
The methods above can also be applied to library books. Do not feel obligated to always be purchasing books. The library is an excellent source to use. Children should be exposed to different books regularly, so if your budget doesn't support this, it's time to get a library card. There is no excuse for a child not being able to read when the library is free.
Never say your child hates to read. This is where many parents make a mistake and think that if their child cannot find an interesting book, their child must hate reading. Never speak the words reading and hate in a sentence together. This will further discourage a child who is struggling. Always encourage children. For a child who is taking longer than normal to choose, you might want to say something like "I know you like dinosaurs. Maybe we should look for a dinosaur book". Say this rather than "Hurry up. You always take too long to decide. We don't have time for this". Parents who choose the latter option in frustration will find that they will have problems with reading with their child.
Now you should have some good books that will help create smart readers. Encourage your child to read every day. While it's true that your child reads at school, your child should also be reading at home. Now that you know how to pick the correct books, your child should be well prepared and have a nice selection of books to choose from.
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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