25 Best Places To Donate Books [In 2022]

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Books are great resources that provide us with knowledge and inspiration. Unfortunately, they also take up space in our homes, offices, and libraries. If you want to give back to the community, where should you donate them?

Luckily, you don’t have to throw away your old books. There are plenty of organizations and charities that would love to receive them. You can donate all books ranging from reference books, audiobooks, law books, adult books, moldy books, or just any book collection that you would wish to dispose of.

Whether it is for a high school, elementary school, library, or some other organization that accepts books as donations, we’ve compiled all the information you need in one place.

How Will My Donations be Used?

  • If you donate books in the United States or Canada, they will most likely be sold at a used bookstore
  • If you donate books in the United Kingdom, they are sent to a recycling plant
  • If you donate books in Africa, they are used as school textbooks
  • If you donate books in Asia, they are used as library resources
  • If you donate books in Latin America, literacy programs will use them

Donating your old and unused books is a great way to declutter your home while helping others. By knowing where your donations go, you can feel confident that your contributions positively impact society.

So, start cleaning out those shelves and donate today!

These Types Of Books Should Never be Donated

Books that are water damaged, moldy, or have a bad odor should not be donated. Books that have been written in or highlighted also do not belong in the donation bin, and children’s books with missing pages may need to go through a special process before they can be recycled.

If you’re unsure whether an item is okay to donate, check your local library for their guidelines on what kinds of things they accept from donations. Libraries will often place “sell” tags if any items are precious, so make sure you don’t accidentally throw away something great. A good rule of thumb is to recycle severely damaged books rather than donate them.

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    What You Should Ask Yourself Before You Donate Your Books

    things to ask yourself before you donate books

    First, does the organization collect specific kinds of books? If so, do they accept children’s picture books and fiction novels, and nonfiction reference books? Do you have items that are rare or valuable? Be sure to indicate this on your donation form because some charities will not take anything expensive due to insurance reasons.

    How much should each book weigh when it comes time to transport them? What size will these books go into storage with your local charity if there isn’t space available at their drop-off location? Finally, you might want information about what happens after receiving donations from you, which means contacting the charity and asking these questions.

    You can donate your pile of books to many places such as schools, libraries, or hospitals, depending on what is needed when you are donating them.

    You should also consider that some businesses might only want a particular type of book donation, so it is best to do your research beforehand. Try researching your chosen charity online to find the information you need, like what kind of books they accept, how much money they can use for shipping, and contact information if you have any other questions.

    It’s always best to research before donating books because an organization might not fit what you are trying to donate. 

    Donated book organizations can include homeless shelters that need paperback novels or schools with no funding to use donated history textbooks. The most important thing is knowing where you want to contribute, so they have a better chance of being used by someone in need of them.

    Donating books doesn’t have many requirements, but it’s always good to talk with the charity first and ask about their collecting methods. If possible, try finding out how much time has passed since they received donations because this will help give your charitable gift more purpose when it finally arrives at its final destination.

    What About Books In Poor Condition?

    You can recycle books in poor condition at local recycling facilities. In addition, many libraries and bookstores accept donations of gently used books. Also, many charities focus on redistributing books to those who need them most. You can help others find a good read by donating your unwanted books and helping out a good cause.

    If your books are in poor condition, there are a few things you can do with them:

    • You could recycle hardcover books by tearing off the covers and sending the pages to a paper recycler.
    • Another option is to donate them to a local library or school. They may use the books for their students or patrons or resell them at a discount book sale.
    • You could also try selling them online through Amazon, eBay, or Craigslist sites.
    • Finally, you could donate them to a charity organization that focuses on literacy or education. This is a great way to get rid of old textbooks and other reference materials.

    Do You Get A Tax Write-off For Donating Books?

    Yes! Donating books is a great way to give back to your community and help others learn and grow and get a tax benefit at the same time. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your donations are both easy and rewarding.

    If you’re looking for a tax write-off this year, donating books to charity is a great way to do it. Not only will you be helping out a good cause, but you’ll also get a break on your taxes. Just make sure to keep track of what you donated and how much the items were worth so that you can claim the deduction on your return.

    Taking pictures of your donation is a great way to document the specific items you donated in the event the Internal Revenue Service wants proof!

    25 Best Places To Donate Used Books

    This is a comprehensive list of places where you can donate your unwanted books.

    1. Local Libraries

    Libraries love used book donations because they can resell them in their bookstores and use the proceeds for new purchases. In addition, your donated books will contribute toward bringing more children out of poverty across Africa through education initiatives such as building schools, training teachers, and providing school supplies.

    2. Little Free Library

    Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization aiming to make books accessible. The group encourages people to build small structures and then allow others, including children in your neighborhood or local school’s library, community organizations, etc., to interact by borrowing one book at a time from their collection (novels count too.).

    Little Free Libraries are popping up everywhere you look, so I urge everyone who loves reading as much as possible should consider setting up their little free librarian right outside on the front lawn.

    3. Make Your Own Little Free Library

    Having one’s free library can help many in need find solace for their lives and give them hope about tomorrow because they know there will always exist another story waiting just around every corner.

    4. A School Or Community Book Drive Or Fundraiser

    School donations ensure that every student in the classroom has what they need to succeed. In addition, families are relieved from financial stress when you donate necessary school supplies, and children feel more prepared for lessons with your contribution.

    5. Goodwill

    Goodwill Industries International

    You might be surprised to know that there is no shortage of opportunities for you if your disability prevents your ability to work. Goodwill operates with over 1,000 locations in North American, providing job training and employment placement services and other community-based programs like home repairs or renovating apartments.

    Goodwill offers many different types of assistance depending on one’s needs. Still, you can always count on them if you need to donate books. Check out their website and find a drop-off location near you. These locations have drop boxes where you can safely leave your books.

    6. Shelter Food Bank

    The shelter food program is a great place to donate books. While the primary mission is food, they provide help for those who need it most, including donations of other needed items. They can often accept books and make them available to people in need.

    7. Freecycle

    Freecycle is a free online platform that connects people in your area who want to recycle goods. You can post an advertisement for books or other items of interest and connect with locals in your area.

    8. Books For Africa

    Books For Africa Logo

    For over 18 years, Books for Africa has sent millions of books worldwide to children and adults in 46 countries. They’re always looking for new authors who want their work shared with others.

    If you’d like your used novel picked up by this incredible charity, be sure not only to check what types are needed but also send them one soon so it can go straight onto a child’s shelf or an adult’s hands as well.

    9. Reputable Charities

    Many people like to donate books to a reputable charity because the charities typically sell the donated items and use that money for good causes. It is important to know where you can donate your used books to maximize how much you help others while minimizing wasted time. Donating old books will also get more space on your bookshelf, making room for new ones.

    10. Local Faith-Based Organizations

    You can donate your books to faith-based organizations. These groups are typically associated with one specific church or religious organization. For instance, you can find book donation bins outside the Salvation Army thrift stores.

    Still, some operate as private foundations and help those in need by donating food items like canned goods, clothing (including winter coats), furniture mats/ Sweepstakes entries, etc.; They also engage themselves financially, when necessary, by setting aside money from fundraising efforts.

    11. Books Through Bars

    books through bars where to donate books

    Books Through Bars is a program that collects donations of books to give away as bedside reading material for those who might not otherwise be able to read them. You can check the website before donating your library Books Through Bars directly if you’re interested in hosting an event where they’ll come pick up all comers’ returns.

    12. Local Museums Or Other Cultural Organizations

    One way to help your community and be a part of something great is by donating books. If you have any old or new books in good condition, consider giving them up for donation at the museum.

    Donating these materials will conserve valuable resources and create awareness about culture through education programs provided onsite such as lectures from experts who share their knowledge with others so everyone can enjoy this wonderful world we live in today.

    13. Reader To Reader Inc.

    reader to reader inc logo

    Reader to Reader, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that wants people in underprivileged communities like inner-city schools and Native American reservations to have access to books and literacy programs to succeed academically outside of school.

    They do this by donating funds for these types of books or teacher training sessions, which will allow them more opportunities than usual during their childhood years. This is because what matters most at this age are experiences learning new things, not just how much time you spend studying something already studied beforehand.

    14. Prison Libraries Literacy Programs

    Each year, Prison Libraries Literacy Programs send over ten thousand books free of charge and provide literacy opportunities. With their help, it doesn’t matter where you find yourself on life’s journey – from a small town or big city, inside prison walls and outside them- because these reading materials will make the difference between living in ignorance or not.

    A prison book program is one of the best places to donate your unwanted books.

    15.  Kids Need To Read

    kids need to read takes donations

    Kids Need to Read exists so that kids have access at all times and in every place they are needed most- whether an underfunded school or library with limited resources. In addition, they provide new books for children who might otherwise never get the chance, inspiring literacy programs by donating thousands each year (from their own pockets), which allows libraries across America to give more people equal opportunity to read.

    16. Armed Forces Charities

    If you have good-quality books and would like to donate them, don’t hesitate to contact your local armed forces charity or military library. They will be happy for the opportunity to provide welfare assistance with these donated items.

    17. Buy Nothing Group

    The Buy Nothing Project is a hyperlocal group where people freely gift items they no longer want. You aren’t allowed to ask for money or trade-in this community, but it’s an awesome way of getting your favorite things, such as books, out there. A Buy Nothing group is designed so that you can give “where-you-live.”

    The goal behind these groups was mainly twofold: firstly, bringing communities together through sharing resources, and secondly, helping individuals who may need help finding new homes with their unwanted goods such as books.

    18. Local Hospital

    If you’re looking to donate books, check with your local or regional hospital first. You should make sure that the book is in good condition and has pictures of smiling children on every page; if possible, add some hobbies or interests for each child, so it doesn’t all look similar (e.g., sports).

    19. Domestic International Public Literacy Programs

    The international donation process and shipment of books is a fascinating topic. However, it’s essential to know that not all organizations abroad can use your book donations. In some cases, they might even be harmful or illegal because there are laws against importing certain materials into another country.

    So, before you go through the trouble of shipping books for someone else’s sake, make sure these tips will benefit both parties involved. It is important to donate books ideal for domestic consumption to these literacy programs.

    20. Books for Soldiers

    Books For Soldiers is a great place to donate books

    Books for Soldiers is a nonprofit that helps US troops overseas by sending them books. In addition, they provide care packages and aid and ship them back home to America to show support for all service members worldwide who are sacrificing so much on behalf of their countrymen at war. In the 1990s, a friend of many service members started Books for Soldiers to allow troops overseas easier access and reading materials.

    The organization is called “Books for Soldiers” because an individual soldier must request all packages to avoid any risk or liability on their part while still allowing soldiers easy circulation opportunities at home base before they head out again.

    21. Better World Books

    better world books where to donate books

    The easiest way to donate books is through Better World Books. All you need are some boxes, a printer (they pay for shipping), and print out an easy-to-find label – it’s that simple.

    Your books will either go towards raising money or providing kids in need with new reading material; there isn’t anything else like this on the market right now, so get yours today while supplies last before they sell out again.

    22. Savers

    From humble thrift shop beginnings to global reuse champion, it’s all because of you at Savers. As a champion for reuse and protection against landfills, they are committed to keeping one-of-a-kind finds out from going into our beautiful planet. Every purchase or decluttering drop-off at their store helps protect yourself and others by preventing used books from getting ruined.

    23. Operation Paperback

    operation paperback is a great place to donate books

    Operation Paperback is a nonprofit organization that allows you to send books, audio equipment, and other materials directly into the hands of troops overseas. After registering with their site, it will search based on the genre for requested addresses, so there’s no need to worry about the cost.

    You can stand down (soldier) because sending boxes full of used paperback books costs around $6-7 dollars per shipment – not bad when compared against donated food items or water filters which may be priced higher than most people are comfortable paying.

    24. Reading Reflections

    Join the fight against Illiteracy. Donate your new or gently used books to children who do not have easy access to enjoy reading. This inspiration has led them to help millions of kids worldwide get their hands on some good old-fashioned reading books. They’re making sure thousands upon thousands of pages find eager little readers too by placing these prized possessions into garages across America all year long.

    25. Reach Out And Read

    Reach Out and Read Logo where to donate books

    The power of books to reflect what we know and understand about the world is truly unique. Reading or listening in on a story from someone else’s perspective allows us an opportunity for self-reflection, as it gives viewers access into different lives than their own while still containing characters that they can relate to.

    This is much like how windows allow people looking through them to see things differently depending upon where you stand within your room.  A commitment by Reach Out and Read will increase accessibility so all young Americans may enjoy reading.

    Conclusion

    Donating books is a great way to get your old books into the hands of someone who will appreciate them, as well as help out vulnerable communities. As seen above, there are many places to donate your books. By donating your old books, you’re not only helping promote literacy and community engagement, but you’re also helping keep old books from ending up in landfills.

    So, you can donate all types of books that you are not using to any of the listed places because you can help end the book famine that is prevalent globally.