While I've certainly picked up my share of books left out on stoops over the years, there is a better way for Brooklynites to dispose of their used and unwanted books. Today, The Optimist took a shopping bag full of books over to the Greenpoint branch of the Brooklyn Public Library to donate them to his neighbors, hoping that they would get as much enjoyment out of them as he had.
I had never made a donation to the library before - since, as a writer, it pains me to part with books - so I didn't know what to expect. Fortunately, I was informed by a librarian at the front desk that my books fit the criteria for acceptable donations and that my gift was even tax deductible, if that had been my motivation.
Rather than trashing your books or abandoning them to chance and the elements, The Optimist encourages his readers to bring them over to their local library. According to a handout I received at the Greenpoint branch, Brooklyn's public libraries accepts some materials in good physical condition, including hardcover and paperback books, videos and DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, and children's books.
They do not accept encyclopedias; directories, almanacs or yearbooks; Reader's Digest condensed books; computer, health or finance books, and textbooks more than three years old; single issues of magazines and other periodicals; and, sadly, records.
To locate your local branch, check out the Brooklyn Public Library's website here.