Where to Donate Used Books | Where do you donate books

Donating used books is a meaningful way to declutter your space while supporting literacy and giving back to your community.

If you’re wondering where to donate books, there are numerous options available, both locally and online.

From supporting children’s education to aiding underserved populations and promoting environmental sustainability, donating books can have a positive impact in various ways.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best places to donate used books and how your contributions can make a difference in the lives of others.

Whether you’re passionate about supporting local libraries, providing reading materials for schools, or giving comfort to individuals in need, there’s a donation opportunity suited to your preferences and values.

Let’s dive into the world of book donation and discover the many ways you can contribute to the joy of reading in your community and beyond.

How Can I Get Rid Of My Old Books?

If you’re looking to part ways with your old books, there are several options available to you. One option is to donate them to organizations or individuals who can benefit from them.

Many charities, schools, and libraries accept book donations, and some even offer pickup services for larger donations.

Donating your books not only helps declutter your space but also supports literacy efforts and provides reading materials to those in need.

Additionally, you can consider selling your books online through platforms like eBay, Amazon, or Facebook Marketplace, where you may find buyers interested in your specific titles.

Another option is to host a book swap with friends, family, or colleagues, allowing everyone to exchange books they’ve already read for ones they’re interested in.

Finally, participating in community book drives or book donation events is a great way to contribute to larger-scale efforts to distribute books to those who may not have easy access to them.

What Are The Best Places To Donate Used Books?

  1. The Salvation Army: The Salvation Army operates thrift stores across the country, where donated books are sold to fund their charitable programs and services. The proceeds from book sales help support initiatives such as homeless shelters, addiction rehabilitation programs, and disaster relief efforts.
  2. Goodwill Industries: Goodwill accepts book donations at their retail locations, using the proceeds to support job training and employment services for individuals facing barriers to employment. By donating books to Goodwill, you’re not only providing reading material to others but also helping fund programs that empower individuals to achieve economic independence.
  3. Reader To Reader: Reader To Reader is a nonprofit organization that distributes donated books to schools and libraries in underserved communities, helping to improve literacy rates and educational opportunities. They focus on providing high-quality books that align with the curriculum and interests of students, ensuring that each donation has a meaningful impact on the recipients.
  4. Little Free Diverse Libraries: Little Free Diverse Libraries are small, outdoor book-sharing boxes that promote diversity and inclusion in literature. Donating books to these libraries ensures that diverse voices are represented and accessible to all, regardless of socioeconomic status or geographic location. These libraries serve as community hubs where people can freely exchange books and engage in discussions about different cultures and perspectives.
  5. Books For Africa: Books For Africa is a nonprofit organization that ships donated books to schools and libraries in Africa, where access to books and educational resources may be limited. Donating books to this organization helps support literacy and education initiatives across the continent, empowering individuals and communities to break the cycle of poverty through knowledge and learning.

Free Book Donations For Children

  1. Children’s Book Bank: The Children’s Book Bank provides free books to children from low-income families, promoting early literacy and a love of reading from an early age. They operate book distribution programs in partnership with schools, community centers, and social service agencies, ensuring that children have access to books both at home and in educational settings.
  2. Kids Need To Read: Kids Need To Read distributes free books to schools, libraries, and literacy programs serving children in need, aiming to improve literacy rates and educational outcomes. They focus on providing diverse and engaging books that capture the imaginations of young readers, fostering a lifelong passion for reading and learning.
  3. Project Night Night: Project Night Night provides free comfort packages to homeless children, including a new book, stuffed animal, and blanket, to offer comfort and support during difficult times. These care packages help alleviate stress and anxiety for children experiencing homelessness, providing them with a sense of security and hope for the future.
  4. Pajama Program: The Pajama Program provides free books and pajamas to children living in shelters or group homes, promoting bedtime routines and a sense of security and belonging. By donating books and pajamas to this organization, you’re helping create a comforting and nurturing environment for children in need, ensuring they have the essentials for a good night’s sleep and the opportunity to escape into the world of books.

Free Book Donations For Military And Veterans

  1. Vietnam Veterans of America: The Vietnam Veterans of America accepts book donations to support their programs and services for veterans, including advocacy, counseling, and community outreach initiatives. Donated books may be distributed to veterans in VA hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or transitional housing programs, providing them with entertainment and intellectual stimulation during their recovery and reintegration into civilian life.
  2. Operation Paperback: Operation Paperback sends free books to deployed military members, veterans, and their families, providing comfort and entertainment during challenging times. They accept donations of gently used books in various genres, including fiction, non-fiction, and children’s literature, and rely on volunteers to package and ship books to military personnel stationed around the world.
  3. Books For Soldiers: Books For Soldiers connects deployed service members with donated books, DVDs, and other forms of entertainment to boost morale and support mental well-being during deployment. They accept donations of new or gently used books in a wide range of genres, including bestsellers, classics, and niche interests, and ship them directly to service members upon request.

Free Book Donations For Prisoners

  1. Books Through Bars: Books Through Bars is a volunteer organization that provides free books and educational materials to prisoners across the United States. They aim to promote literacy, self-empowerment, and rehabilitation among incarcerated individuals by supplying them with reading materials that are both educational and recreational. Volunteers sort through donated books and fulfill requests from prisoners based on their interests and needs, ensuring that each package is tailored to the recipient’s preferences.
  2. Prison Book Program: The Prison Book Program mails free books to prisoners nationwide, offering a diverse selection of reading materials to incarcerated individuals. They prioritize requests from prisoners and strive to fulfill each request with appropriate books that can provide comfort, inspiration, and educational opportunities. By donating books to this program, individuals can help support the intellectual and emotional well-being of those living behind bars, fostering a sense of connection and hope in a challenging environment.
  3. Books to Prisoners: Books to Prisoners is a nonprofit organization that sends free books to prisoners in the United States, focusing on providing educational and empowering reading materials to help incarcerated individuals develop skills, knowledge, and self-awareness. They accept donations of new and gently used books in a wide range of genres, including fiction, non-fiction, self-help, and educational resources. Volunteers carefully select and package books to meet the specific requests and interests of prisoners, aiming to enhance their quality of life and encourage personal growth during their time in confinement.

Local Communities And Online Resources To Donate Books

  1. Community Book Drives: Community book drives are organized events where individuals can donate their gently used books to support local organizations, schools, or libraries. These drives often occur seasonally or in conjunction with community events, providing a convenient opportunity for people to declutter their homes while giving back to their community. Local businesses, schools, and civic organizations may host book drives and collect donations on behalf of charitable causes, helping to distribute books to those in need within the community.
  2. Online Platforms: Online platforms such as Freecycle, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace offer virtual spaces for individuals to give away their unwanted books to others in their local area. These platforms allow users to post listings for free books or browse listings from others who are looking to donate or exchange books. By leveraging the power of technology and social media, individuals can connect with potential recipients and arrange for convenient pickups or drop-offs of donated books, reducing waste and promoting reuse within their communities.
  3. Little Free Libraries: Little Free Libraries are small, outdoor book-sharing boxes that are located in neighborhoods, parks, and public spaces around the world. These community-run libraries operate on a “take a book, leave a book” basis, allowing people to freely exchange books with others in their community. Donating books to Little Free Libraries not only provides access to reading materials for individuals who may not have easy access to traditional libraries but also fosters a sense of community engagement and shared literacy among neighbors.

Additional Resources To Donate Used Books

  1. Local Churches and Religious Organizations: Many churches and religious organizations operate outreach programs or community centers that accept donations of used books. These organizations may distribute donated books to members of the congregation, local residents in need, or partner with other charitable organizations to support literacy and educational initiatives within the community.
  2. Homeless Shelters and Soup Kitchens: Homeless shelters and soup kitchens often welcome donations of used books to provide recreational reading materials for their clients. Books can offer a temporary escape from the challenges of homelessness and provide comfort and entertainment during difficult times. Donating books to these organizations helps support their mission of providing holistic support and resources to individuals experiencing homelessness.
  3. Senior Centers and Assisted Living Facilities: Senior centers and assisted living facilities may accept donations of used books to provide reading materials for their residents. Books can offer mental stimulation, relaxation, and companionship for older adults, contributing to their overall well-being and quality of life. Donating books to senior centers and assisted living facilities helps enrich the lives of older adults and fosters a sense of community and connection among residents.


In conclusion, donating used books is a simple yet impactful way to make a positive difference in your community.

Whether you choose to support prisoners, children, veterans, or other underserved populations, your book donations can provide comfort, education, and inspiration to those in need.

By exploring the various organizations and programs mentioned in this article, you can find opportunities to donate your books and contribute to meaningful causes that promote literacy, empowerment, and social justice.

Remember that every book donated has the potential to change a life and make the world a better place, one page at a time.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Why Should I Donate My Used Books?

Donating used books helps declutter your space, supports literacy efforts, and provides reading materials to those in need. It can also promote environmental sustainability by reducing waste and encouraging reuse.

What Types of Books Can I Donate?

Most organizations accept gently used books in good condition, including fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, textbooks, and sometimes specific genres like self-help or educational books. It’s best to check the specific guidelines of the organization you plan to donate to.

Can I Get a Tax Deduction for Donating Books?

Yes, book donations to qualifying charitable organizations may be tax-deductible. Obtain a receipt from the organization and keep a record of the donated items. Consult with a tax professional for specific advice and guidelines.

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