Today is the first day of 2024. Hard to believe! I hope you enjoyed a fun and safe New Year’s Eve last night and are looking forward to lightening up in the month ahead. We will begin the month by talking about how to let go of sentimental items, particularly yearbooks.
Yearbooks can be a lot of fun. They provide a window into our past and a reminder of how we used to look. Nevertheless, there may be reasons why you wish to get rid of yearbooks, such as:
- You have yearbooks from relatives with whom you don’t really connect.
- You don’t have particularly fond memories from your schooldays.
- You are downsizing or are otherwise limited on space.
- No one else in your family (e.g., children, grandchildren) wants them.
Whatever your reason for letting go, you may wonder what to do with them. Unless you went to school with someone quite famous, odds are that your yearbook doesn’t have much monetary value. That said, you can always check with your local book reseller to find out. In southwestern CT, you can reach out to David Greif at Griffin Books (email DAGreif at Yahoo.com). Another resource for all used books is Bookscouter.com, where you can type in an ISBN number to find out if there is a market or not.
If you’d like to see about donating them, your best bet is to contact the school from which they came. Sometimes the school will be happy to have them as part of their records. If you have moved away from your old school, be prepared to pay any necessary shipping to have your yearbooks returned.
If your alma mater is not interested, there are a couple of other options:
Ancestry.com is compiling a nationwide yearbook collection. They index and publish the yearbooks, making images available online. If you would like to learn more, click here.
Classmates.com is a site that connects individuals with classmates from their old school. They are actively collecting yearbooks to be scanned and shared with their members. One thing to note is that they typically return the yearbook to you, so you may want to check the fine print if your goal is to totally let the yearbooks go. Learn more about their yearbook program here.
If you can’t find anyone who wants your yearbook, or if you simply want to dispose of it responsibly, your best option is to recycle it. Leather bindings or plasticized pages are not typically recyclable, but old paperback books are. Since there is nothing toxic in yearbooks, they can be placed into the regular trash if you don’t want to take the time to separate the recyclable pages from the rest.
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Yearbooks, like any other possession, should be kept only if they are adding value to your life. Never feel guilty for letting go of any item that you don’t use, need, or love.
Do you still have your old yearbooks? Have you ever thought of letting them go or do you like having them?