What Do You Retired Pastors Do With All Your Books?


I am really wrestling with what to do with all my books. I guess I could box and store them, but is there another option?

Do you give your books away in a donation? Do you sell in mass? 

Any counsel? 



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Hi, Pastor Gil--

No good advice here, except to say that I wish I were closer to St. Louis--I'd drop in and buy some from you!

I'm as much of a bibliophile (or book hoarder!) as my dad was. Not sure what I am going to do if I ever need to downsize. Shalom, and best wishes on your retirement.

One of your former catechism students,

Chuck Adams

thx Chuck, I am in Bozeman, MT now. Doing an interim pastoral job.  Bozeman area is where I grew up. The ranch I grew up on is now run by my youngest brother. Nice to be back. I also have another brother in the area.

I left my books on the shelves in my office at Trinity CRC  St. L.   they are vacant now....I will donate them when I get back.

I saw that your dad finished his earthly pilgrimage. Great man. May your mother be guided by the Spirit of Christ as a widow.

Until then,  gil



I'm with Chuck, I love books. I've been blessed to have inherited a few small collections from former pastors. I would suggest finding a young minister who would be blessed by having such resources available.

Hi, Gil. Remember teaching in Moscow together. Good times.

I offered everything I had to Gary Vander Scaaf at Credo Books: https://www.facebook.com/Credo-Books-Books-for-Believers-Since-1983-1505...

He gave a fair price for what he could use (not as much as I'd like, but fair) and in my case hauled the rest away to donate or recycle. Not sure how that would work in St. Louis. Maybe you can send digital pictures of your library and get a quote on what he can use, and ship them via media mail.

P.S. I'm not quite retired yet. Got a year to go. Bit I did this when i was moving from Michigan to Alaska four years ago. Too much weight to ship that far. Besides, almost everything is available digitally today. 

I helped distribute a retired pastor's library who is from our church. Credo was OK but didn't take much. I found the best price & distribution at the local seminary's used book store. (Multnomah Seminary in Portland). They were glad to receive all the older volumes as well as more recent ones; they had a ready market of fresh seminary students.


We recently downsized. While I am not a pastor, we were able to donate some to our church library, and others to a thrift store our church members operate. Our children were given first choice, but books are not so much in vogue for them. We love books, but have gone ourselves to e-books better for travel, and space taken.

While I agree that donating to a young pastor is a wonderful thing to do, if any retiring ministers who wish to sell their private library or churches who are closing I have an outlet with a small Christian book seller who does business honestly and compassionately. All I would need is an email address to contact and readiness to sell.


Thank you for your time and thought,


Jeff Easter

Good afternoon! I am a soon to be retired pastor with nearly 5,000 books in my library. I am wondering if you might be able to help me with the selling of these books?





Community Builder

You can donate books to Christian Resources International, Mission Cry. They send shipping containers full of books to church leaders all over the world. We recently got their help to have one sent to Uganda to help the Pentecostal pastors here.  Mission CRY – Christian Resources International – Mission Cry | $330 Million in Free Books and Bibles Sent

Greetings Pastor Lonneville,

I can help you and below I am putting a link to a website and name for the person you need to contact.

A very nice man whom I deal with and purchase from. This is an Ebay store and you can send him a message from his site. I think he is a trustwothy man and very fair. If you contact him mention that it came through me.

I wish you a healthy and peaceful retirement.

Kindest Regards,

Jeffery Easter

The contact name is: Myron Detweiler.

The web address is:

"The Dialogical Diplomat" (DD)  https://www.ebay.com/str/thedialogicaldiplomatbookstore   You can copy and paste that link into your browser if you'd like to peruse the store.

They are constantly looking for retired pastors, professors and/or finishing doctoral students who may wish to downsize their libraries and in so doing recover some of that substantial investment. The mission of DD is not only to succeed as a business, but also to serve as a resource for church leaders who no longer depend on a personal library. Therefore, we consistently make the best price-per-book offer of any used-book purchaser in the market.

The Dialogical Diplomat eBay bookstore offers a variety of both new and used inventory that spans a wide spectrum of theological, academic and spiritual content.  Strongest in Sacred Text, Bible Commentary and Theological Text. We support a healthy tension in theological study by offering resources from multiple faith traditions – views that both enlarge and enrich the studies and conversations of seminary students.