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Where to Donate Books

Where to Donate Books

The pile of old books that's gathering dust in your house can be put to good use. This article lists places you can donate your books to help people in need.
Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Most of us have shelves full of old books in our homes. Some of them are brand new, read only once or twice, and then left there to gather dust. We rarely get time to go through all of them. There are many people who can benefit a great deal from your old books. A lot of people can't afford to buy new books. Giving away your old ones might just be one step to helping a person in need. Plus, clearing away your current collection can make space for all the new books you want to buy.

Places to Donate

Some non profit charity organizations often encourage people to give away their used books. While donating, always make sure your books are in good condition, without missing pages, and with the cover intact.

Homeless Shelters
Shelters for women often have young children staying with their mothers. Hence, books for kids are usually in demand. Check with the regulations regarding the content or kind of books permissible for reading.

Friends of Library
This organization works to gather funds for your local library. They invite people to donate their used books for fundraising. The organization sells these used books to collect funds for the library. Although, there is no restriction on the subject matter, your book needs to be in good condition for sale.

Some prisons have their own extensive libraries. However, the rules regarding donation are likely to be more stringent in case of a prison. For instance, you may not be allowed to give hard covers or books on certain subjects. Discuss with the jail authorities to check if your collection pertains to the prison laws.

Schools usually have their own libraries and rarely accept donations from outsiders. However, it doesn't hurt to inquire if your local public school library is in need of some books. Again, you will have to take care of the subject matter permitted for reading in schools.

Donate Online

If it is not possible for you to find an organization in your locality that accepts your book collection, you can search the Internet for a suitable place.

This is a great place to give away your old stuff, including books and furniture. The organization ensures that your collection falls into the right hands.

You can mail your used books to this website every time someone requests your book. In return, books you request will be mailed to you for free. To mail books weighing between 5 ounces and up to 1 pound will cost $2.53, weight between 1 and 2 pounds will cost $2.98, and weights less than 5 ounces will cost up to $2.41.

Just like everything else on this site, you can advertise your book collection for free. You can get hundreds of inquiries in an hour depending on your collection.

You can also approach certain non profit organizations which let you ship your books. If you particularly wish to know where to give used textbooks, then Books for Africa is a good organization. Textbooks in English and French are always in demand here. Books for Soldiers and Salvation Army are organizations that ship books to veterans and soldiers.