Where to Donate Books: Over 20 Places You Can Sell or Donate Books
If it’s time to declutter your book shelves and get rid of old books you don’t read anymore to make way for some new books, you need to check out this complete list of where to donate books. Not only will you find places that will accept your used books, but you’ll also find options for selling your old books so you can make some cash.
Plus, don’t forget we can help you clean out your entire house with our ultimate guide on where to donate used toys!
You don’t have to throw away those old books. Instead, discover the places where you can donate or sell your used books.
1. Local Library
You local library is a great place to start when you’re interested in donating books. If your books are in like-new condition and current releases, you might be able to donate them for the library to use. However, it’s always a good idea to call ahead and see if your library can accept your donation.
Many libraries also have a Friends of the Library group that collects used books for book sales. Proceeds from these sales will then benefit the library.
2. Little Free Library
In addition to community libraries, you can also check to see if your area has a Little Free Library. This book-sharing movement is growing in popularity and makes it easy for everyone to access different types of books.
Simply check out the Little Free Library map on their website to find one close to you. Then gather up any books you want to donate and drop them off at the box.
3. The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army provides help with disaster relief, social aid, and humanitarian assistance. One way it’s able to do this is by selling used goods at its thrift stores.
If you have books to donate, you can use The Salvation Army website to find a drop-off location or schedule a free pickup.
Goodwill is another non-profit organization that uses book donations to give back to the community. To donate books to Goodwill, simply locate a donation center near you.
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5. Habitat for Humanity ReStores
Habitat for Humanity ReStores are operated by local Habitat for Humanity organizations. Proceeds from the stores help the organization build new homes in the community.
Habitat ReStores accept a variety of donations of new or gently used items, including building materials, furniture, appliances, and yes, even books! You can donate your goods in person, and many stores also offer free pickup of large items.
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6. Vietnam Veterans of America
Vietnam Veterans of America is a nonprofit organization that supports all veterans across the country without any contribution from the government. Instead, it uses proceeds from your donations.
The organization accepts all types of donations, including clothes, housewares, toys, and books. You can leave the items at one of their drop-off locations, or you can schedule a convenient pickup at your home.
You’ve probably purchased books from Amazon before, but did you know you can also sell your used books? There are two ways you can sell used books on Amazon.
You can set up a sellers account and list all of your books. It takes some work, but if you have a lot of used books, it might be the best way to make some money.
Your other option is to use Amazon’s trade-in program. Simply search for your book using the ISBN and see if Amazon will offer you any money for it. If so, you’ll complete a quick questionnaire about the condition of the book and ship it Amazon using the label they provide. Once they receive your book, they’ll give you an Amazon credit.
Since Amazon really wants you to continue shopping with them, you’ll likely make more money using the trade-in program.
8. Kids Need to Read
Kids Need to Read is a nonprofit foundation that promotes childhood literacy by providing books to disadvantaged children, underfunded schools, and literacy programs in need.
If you have any like-new children’s books that don’t contain any scribbles or damage, you can mail them to the organization.
9. Day Care Centers
Most literacy organizations will accept donations of children’s books only if the books are in like-new condition. But what happens if you have some well-loved children’s books? You don’t have to throw them away!
Instead, check with your local day care centers and see if they’re interested in taking some of the books off your hands. Since some day care centers don’t always have the funds necessary to stock their libraries, they’ll often take any type of book donation available — even if the books are showing a little wear and tear.
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10. Reader to Reader, Inc
Reader to Reader, Inc works to expand literacy programs in some of the most underserved areas of the United States, including Native American reservations, rural towns, and inner-city schools.
Not only does the program use donated books to provide learning opportunities at public and school libraries, but it also helps restock libraries around the country after a natural disaster destroys their collection.
11. Retirement Homes/Assisted Living Facilities
Retirement homes and assisted living facilities often have common rooms they keep stocked with books, games, and puzzles. Your book donation can help keep the selection varied so residents have something new to read.
These type of facilities are especially in need of any large print books you might have available to donate.
As with other organizations and charities on this list, it’s always a good idea to contact the facility ahead of time to see if they can accommodate a donation.
12. Local Theaters
Do you have some particularly old books or books that aren’t in very good condition? Ask your local theaters if they would be interested in using the books as props.
Old books are ideal for plays set in another time period and torn books can be very useful when the scenery calls for a spooky or neglected background.
13. Half Price Books
Half Price Books is a chain of bookstores that sells new and used books. If you live near a store, you can also sell your used books to them.
Simply box up your books, take them to the buy counter, and wait a few minutes while the appraiser evaluates your items. They’ll pay you cash for any items they’re able to take.
Plus, not only does Half Price Books buy used books, but they also buy music, movies, games, electronics, magazines, and comics.
14. Powell’s Books
Don’t live near a Half Price Books? That’s OK! Powell’s Books will buy your used books online.
They prefer to buy books that are in excellent condition. If you have some used books to sell, simply enter the ISBN of each book to receive an immediate offer.
If you accept the offer, they’ll cover the cost of shipping the books to them and you’ll receive your payment via PayPal or store credit.
15. Operation Paperback
Operation Paperback is a nonprofit organization that collects gently-used books and sends them to service members overseas and veterans and military families in the country.
Once you register with the program, you can input the book genres you have available and receive a customized address list of troops and veterans interested in receiving books.
16. Books for Soldiers
Books for Soldiers is another organization that helps get used books into the hands of service members. After you sign up as a volunteer, you’ll be given access to the soldiers’ book requests.
While some soldiers will ask for specific genres or titles, most just ask for anything to read. You can also include CDs, DVDs, and other requested items in your care package.
17. African Library Project
The goal of African Library Project is to help create libraries in Africa using gently-used books. This organization collects used books and ships them to schools and libraries in sub-Saharan Africa.
You can even coordinate your own book drive to help open a library in Africa. If you can collect 1,000 used books and raise $500 for shipping costs, you can give a library to one community in Africa.
18. Books for Africa
Books for Africa is another organization that collects gently-used books and distributes them to readers in Africa. The organization collects all types of books. It then sorts, ships, and sends the books to Africa.
If you live in Atlanta or St. Paul, Books for Africa has a physical location where you can drop off your book donations. If not, you can also mail your donations to them.
19. Books Through Bars
Books Through Bars is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Philadelphia that collects used book donations to send to prisons in Pennsylvania and other surrounding states.
There are certain types of books the program always needs and other books it can’t accept. So it’s always important to check the guidelines before making a donation.
It’s also important to note that many prisons don’t allow hardcover books for safety reasons, so only donations of paperback books are accepted.
20. Prison Book Program
Prison Book Program is another organization that helps stock prison libraries to give inmates access to educational and reading materials.
Like Books Through Bars, Prison Book Program has specific books it can and cannot accept, so you’ll want to review their guidelines before making a donation.
21. Better World Books
Not only can you buy new and used books at Better World Books, but you can also donate books here. Donated books are always put to good use.
If the store can sell your used books, then a portion of proceeds will go toward funding nonprofit literacy organizations that help build schools, fill libraries, and support readers of all ages. If the store can’t sell the books, it will either send them directly to a nonprofit partner or recycle them.
You can either drop off your books at one of Better World Books’ drop box locations or ship your books if you don’t have a drop box nearby.
22. The Freecycle Network
The Freecycle Network is a free, local nonprofit movement of people dedicated to donating and reusing goods. If you have books you’d like to donate through Freecycle, all you have to do is create an account, post a description of what you have, and see if anyone in your area is interested in them.
23. Friends and Family
It’s always so common to forget about asking our friends and family if they’re interested in our books. Yet they’re also the easiest suggestion on this list!
If you can put together a large enough group, it might be possible to swap books for months and always have something new to read.
24. Local Donation Programs
In addition to these national and regional organizations and programs, you should also check for donation programs in your local community.
For example, Los Angeles has a program called Re-Book It. This free service collects book donations and gives them to libraries, schools, hospitals, and more.
You can also check with libraries, schools, and churches in your area to see if they will accept book donations.
A Complete List of Where to Donate Books
When it’s time to clean out your bookcase and make room for new reads, you don’t have to throw away your old books. Instead, you can choose one of these great places to donate books and give your favorite novels another chance to be enjoyed by someone else.
More Eco-Friendly Living Tips
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