Used textbooks

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To decide what to do with a book, you have to make a judgement about the value of the book. If it is useless because it is out-dated and therefore obsolete, it probably isn't of any use to anybody (except for historical reasons). This is often the case for clinical specialties and basic sciences where the rate of progress is constant and rapid. Some 'old' books may remain useful, for instance, in anatomy where significant changes are unusual.

Other books may be suitably up-to-date, but are no longer useful because your day-to-day knowledge requirements have changed as your career has progressed. These will include some of the basic sciences like anatomy and histology books and to a lesser extent physiology and pathology (in its broadest sense).


If a book is a fairly recent edition, you may be able to sell it to juniors, although this can be difficult as many popular books produce new editions on a 3-4 year cycle and by the time you want to sell yours, a new edition may be on its way.

You can also sell online - there is a small market on Amazon and similar sites, although for older books, you may not get much interest.


There are several charitable organisations. There conditions of acceptance vary - there are rules on how old the books can be and delivery arrangements vary.

  • Education Aid] - Charity concerned with the advancement of education in developing countries.
  • Pharmaid, based at the British Pharmaceutical Association. This organisation will accept old BNFs, Clinical Evidence Concise and other textbooks published within the last 18 months.
    • Send material to Pharmaid, British Pharmaceutical Association, 1 Lambeth High Street, London SE1 7JN.
  • World Orthopaedic Concern - as an orthopaedic organisation, their preference for books may be have a more musculoskeletal slant.
  • Book Aid International - this organisation is not specifically geared towards medical textbooks.

Used journals are collected and distributed to East Africa by:

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