What to Do with Old Dictionaries?

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Old dictionaries can be found in many households, often collecting dust in a forgotten corner. While some people may choose to throw them away, there are a variety of ways to repurpose or donate old dictionaries. With a little creativity, these books can continue to be useful and appreciated.

One option for repurposing old dictionaries is to use the pages for crafting or art projects. The pages can be used for decoupage, creating collages, or even folded into origami. Additionally, the covers of old dictionaries can be turned into unique book covers for journals or notebooks.

Another option is to donate old dictionaries to organizations or schools in need. Many schools and libraries may not have the resources to purchase new dictionaries, so donating old ones can be a great way to support education and literacy. Additionally, organizations that work with refugees or English language learners may appreciate the donation of dictionaries to help individuals improve their language skills.

Understanding the Value of Old Dictionaries

Old dictionaries are often seen as outdated and irrelevant in today’s digital age. However, these reference books hold a significant historical and linguistic value that cannot be overlooked. In this section, we will explore the importance of old dictionaries and their relevance in today’s world.

Historical Significance

Old dictionaries provide a unique insight into the history of language and the evolution of words. They offer a glimpse into the language and culture of a particular time period, allowing us to understand how language has changed over time. For example, an old dictionary can reveal how words were spelled and used in the past, providing a valuable resource for historians and linguists.

Linguistic Value

Old dictionaries are also valuable for their linguistic content. They provide a comprehensive list of words and their meanings, including archaic and obsolete words that are no longer in use. This makes them a valuable resource for anyone interested in the English language, from students to writers.

Antique and Collectible

Old dictionaries are also considered antique and collectible items. Some dictionaries, such as the Cyclopedia or the Oxford English Dictionary, are highly sought after by collectors and can fetch a high price. These dictionaries are not only valuable for their linguistic content but also for their historical and cultural significance.

Reference Books

Old dictionaries are still relevant as reference books today. They offer a wealth of information on English words that may not be found in modern dictionaries. They are also useful for understanding the meanings of words in older literature or historical documents.


In conclusion, old dictionaries hold a significant historical and linguistic value that cannot be overlooked. They offer a unique insight into the history of language and the evolution of words, making them a valuable resource for historians, linguists, and anyone interested in the English language. Additionally, they are considered antique and collectible items and are still relevant as reference books today.

Practical Uses for Old Dictionaries

If you have an old dictionary lying around, you might be wondering what to do with it. Fortunately, there are plenty of practical uses for old dictionaries that can benefit both you and others. Here are some ideas to consider:

Educational Uses

Old dictionaries can be a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their vocabulary or learn new words. They can be especially useful for parents who want to help their children expand their knowledge. You can use an old dictionary to teach your child new words, or you can use it as a reference tool when reading books or articles together.

Decorative Uses

Old dictionaries can also make great decorative pieces. You can use them to create a unique book cover or stencil, or you can use them as a base for painting or drawing. Old dictionaries can also be used to add a vintage touch to your decor. You can display them on a bookshelf or table, or you can use them as part of a larger art installation.

Online Sharing

If you’re interested in sharing your love of words with others, you can use old dictionaries to create content for social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, or Pinterest. You can create videos or blog posts that explore unfamiliar words or highlight interesting entries in your dictionary. You can also use your dictionary to create word-of-the-day posts or quizzes that challenge your followers to expand their vocabulary.

Overall, there are many practical uses for old dictionaries that can benefit both you and others. Whether you choose to repurpose your dictionary for educational or decorative purposes, or you use it to create content for social media, you can feel confident that you’re making the most of this valuable resource.

Where to Sell or Donate Old Dictionaries

If you have old dictionaries lying around your house, you may be wondering what to do with them. While some people may prefer to keep them as a sentimental item, others may want to sell or donate them. Here are some options for selling or donating old dictionaries:

Thrift Stores and Book Stores

Thrift stores and book stores are great places to donate old dictionaries. Many thrift stores accept donations of books, including dictionaries, and sell them to raise funds for their organization. Book stores may also accept donations of dictionaries and other books that they can sell or use for their own inventory.

Before donating to a thrift store or book store, it is recommended to call ahead and ask if they accept dictionary donations and if there are any specific guidelines or restrictions.

Online Platforms

There are also various online platforms where you can sell or donate old dictionaries. Here are some options:

  • Facebook Marketplace: This is a great option for selling or giving away old dictionaries to people in your local area. You can create a listing for the dictionary and include photos and a description of its condition.
  • eBay: eBay is a popular online marketplace where you can sell old dictionaries to people all over the world. You can create a listing and set a price for the dictionary, and eBay will take a small percentage of the sale as a fee.
  • Amazon: If you have a rare or valuable dictionary, you may want to consider selling it on Amazon. Amazon allows third-party sellers to list items for sale on their platform, and they take a percentage of the sale as a fee.
  • YouTube and Pinterest: While not traditional selling platforms, YouTube and Pinterest can be great places to showcase your old dictionaries and potentially attract buyers or collectors who are interested in them. You can create videos or posts showcasing the dictionaries and their unique features, and include a link to a selling platform or contact information for interested buyers.

Before selling or donating old dictionaries online, it is important to research their value and condition to ensure that you are getting a fair price and providing accurate information to potential buyers.

Assessing the Condition of Your Old Dictionary

Before deciding what to do with your old dictionary, it is important to assess its condition. Here are a few things to consider:


Check the pages of your dictionary to see if any are missing, torn, or damaged. If a significant number of pages are missing or damaged, the dictionary may not be useful for its intended purpose. However, if only a few pages are affected, it may still be usable.


Inspect the cover and spine of the dictionary for any signs of wear or damage. If the cover is torn or the spine is damaged, it may not be suitable for display purposes. However, if the cover and spine are in good condition, the dictionary may still be useful.

Other Factors

Consider any other factors that may affect the usefulness of your old dictionary. For example, if the dictionary is outdated and contains inaccurate information, it may not be useful for its intended purpose. However, it may still have value as a historical artifact or collectible item.

Overall, assessing the condition of your old dictionary is an important step in deciding what to do with it. By considering factors such as pages and condition, you can make an informed decision about whether to keep, donate, or dispose of your old dictionary.

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