Donate Books

Donate books to a worthy cause and open up a world of possibilities to someone in need.  Books inspire our imaginations and broaden our perspective.  They educate and enrich.  For many, however, books are a luxury they cannot afford. 

If you're looking for a good home for your used books, consider the options listed here.

Check Before You Share

If you decide to donate books to a specific charity that collects and distributes books to those in need, please contact the charity beforehand to make sure they have a use for the specific types of books you wish to donate.  Charities operate on limited budgets and are often understaffed.  Receiving books they cannot use wastes valuable man hours in sorting and redistributing.  It also uses up much needed storage space.  

Better World Books

When you donate your books to Better World Books, they are resold, donated to charity or recycled.  They offer over 8 million titles on their website, and for every book they sell, they donate a book to charity. 

Donation boxes are available in Texas and most states east of the Mississippi (excluding much of New England).  If you don't live near a donation box, log onto their website and request a pre-paid shipping label which they will email to you.    


As with shoes, clothes, and toys, children outgrow their books.  If your kids have lost interest in some of their old favorites, you may want to donate books to Bookends.  They collect children’s books in good condition for distribution to schools and youth organizations in need. 

Books for Africa

Books for Africa is dedicated to promoting literacy in Africa.  Since 1988 they have shipped 24 million books to 46 African nations.  They happily accept book donations.  If you prefer to have a more global impact, Books for Africa may be the place for you to donate books.  

Books for Soldiers

This charity provides books to deployed soldiers.  Register on their website, and you will be able to view soldiers’ book requests.  This will allow you to donate books to someone you know will enjoy them.  Become one of the ‘army’ of volunteers who send thousands of books, DVDs, games, and relief supplies each month in support of our troops. 

Books Through Bars

Books Through Bars distributes quality reading material to individual prisoners in the Mid-Atlantic region, prison libraries across the country, and halfway houses throughout the greater Philadelphia area”.  They ask that you email them with a list of books you wish to donate before mailing your books as there are some types of books they can’t use.  

Books to Prisoners

This all volunteer organization distributes quality reading material to men and women in prison. See their website for a list of their most requested books.  Books to Prisoners operates out of Seattle, Washington. 

Darien Book Aid Plan, Inc.

Darien Book Aid meets specific requests for books from Peace Corps volunteers, schools, and libraries around the world.  You can find a list of books they need and books they can’t use on their website.  You can also view their wishlist.  They ask that you contact them for prior approval before donating books.  

Discover Books

Discover Books is dedicated to keeping books out of landfills.  They collect and resell books, donate books to those in need, or recycle used books which are beyond salvaging.   Read about how they determine which books go where on their “How it Works” page.  Collection boxes and curbside pick-up are available in eight states.  

International Book Project, Inc.

IBP provides books to schools, libraries and other organizations in the United States and locations throughout the developing world.  Books are sorted upon receipt and those deemed inappropriate to send overseas are sold in their thrift shop.  Proceeds from book sales are used to fund book requests.  They particularly need children’s books.  You can find instructions for mailing books on their website.    

Operation Paperback

Books collected by Operation Paperback benefit deployed soldiers, veterans, and military families.  You can register online to become a volunteer shipper.  Input genres you have on hand, and their system will provide you with an address where your books are needed.  

Prison Book Program

The Prison Book Program, based in Boston, provides books to prison libraries in numerous states.  See their page titled "Other Books to Prisoners Programs" for a more extensive list of options.  Also on their website you will find a list of books they need and books they don't need. 

Local Hospitals

Donate books to a local hospital and help patients pass the long hours more enjoyably.  A member of my family read about a half dozen books during a recent hospital stay, all of which were obtained through the hospital’s lending library.  Many hospitals have a lending library somewhere on the premises where patients and visitors can borrow books.  Children's books can be donated directly to the pediatric wing of the hospital.  Check with your local hospital to find out if they accept book donations.

Local Library

You will need to call the library and ask about their policies for donating books.   They are obviously going to want books in good condition.  They may also have restrictions regarding the age and genre of books.   In addition to books, check about donating audio and visual materials as well.

Local Nursing Homes

Check with your local nursing home or adult care facility to see if they maintain a lending library for residents.  If so, they may be happy to have you donate books to help increase their selection.

Declutter & Donate Books -- It's a Win-Win Situation!

As you can see, there are many options available for you to donate books.  A little effort to find a good fit will ensure that everyone benefits from the exchange. 

Click here to return to Donate Your Stuff.

Click here to return to Step-by-Step Declutter.

Like This Site?

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.