Collecting is an Investment: How I Earned from Collecting Books and Notebooks

Words by Gemma Casimsiman

When you outgrow something, what do you usually do? Throw it away?

I mean, that’s not a bad idea. Clutter is not good, and storing unused things for long periods of time is such a waste of space (and the said item). But before you throw them away, think of the other option. That’s what I do.

Let’s take notebooks for example. We know collectors or just plain lovers who have stacks and stacks of notebooks cramped in their bookshelf without a single ink on its pages.

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In the end, a lot of these unused noteboooks just end up in the charity box five years later. Which is not bad, of course, but here’s another thing you can do: sell them. After all, in this day and age, 2nd hand selling has been an online trend, especially for books and clothes. There are so many accessible ways to do it.

A few months ago, I was in a slump. I had no source of money, yet I had so many plans to go out. Panicking my way through, I stared at my walls, searching my mind for ways to earn without having to ask my parents. Lo and behold, the answer was right in front of me all along. My books—my bookshelf full of books—were right in my line of vision. I am a huge bookworm and my books are so precious to me, but the truth is it’s been years since I’ve read some of them. Rather than having them rotting away in my dusty, web-collecting shelf, I thought someone could benefit from them more—in a way that would benefit me, too.

So, I began my searching and found a community of booksellers. With one click of a button, I posted about my books and buyers started messaging me. By the end of the month, I already had 3,000-4,000 pesos in my bank account. For a student on her summer break, that was a lot.

You can do this for notebooks, too.

When I traveled to Japan, I discovered their MUJI notebooks are way cheaper than they are here in the Philippines. One set there would only cost 110 PHP consisting of already four notebooks. So, I took the chance and bought a lot. All of them are still stored in my drawer. I still have two years of college to get through and, should I need to, I can either use them for myself or benefit from them too like I did with my books.

So, the next time you think about throwing some old stuff away, stop and think about your options first! Every time I get to buy something new for myself, my mom would always say, “Nakabenta ka nanaman, noh?”

Sell, give, or use. See, (over)collecting is not a bad habit, after all.


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