Books are one of the most wonderful additions to any home, but they do tend to collect over time. But after you’d stacked the shelves, covered the dressers, and filled the closets, what do you do with all those books?
You can only give so many books to your friends and family, so the next best thing to do (possibly the better thing to do) is to donate them. But who wants your old books?
Where To Donate Books Near You
The most obvious place to donate your used books is your local library. Some libraries need books while others have regular book sales, the latter of which requires a constant inflow of good condition books (libraries rarely want damaged books or mass market paperbacks).
Make sure to call your local library before you show up with a trunk full of books though since many libraries don’t actually need books! Just like you they have limited space and, just like you, they keep buying books. In fact, libraries are trying even harder than you to keep new stuff on the shelves!
Most schools have libraries that could be a good home for your used books. Most of the notes on local libraries apply to these libraries as well, except more so, as school libraries tend to be smaller and tend to have a more specialized selection of textbooks and reference books… not your used John Grisham novels. That said schools do have book sales fundraisers and sometimes needs reading material of one type or another, so it’s worth giving your local school a call.
Goodwill almost always be happy to take your donated books. The organization will later sell or donate those books in order to support their work.
Donating at Goodwill has some nice perks to it too. First of all, many Goodwill’s have donation boxes, so you can do your dropoff whenever you want. Also, if you want to do a tax write-off alongside your donation, Goodwill will have forms handy and people who know how to fill them out, so as to make the process as easy as possible.
Check out Goodwill’s website to find their local location.
Little Free Library
Ever seen a little book box in your local park? That’s Little Free Library. This is a 24/7/365 book exchange where you can leave a book for someone else to pickup. Anyone is allowed to take or leave books for others, just be respectful of the size of the library… they really are little! The organization asks that donators don’t leave too many books, making the library overly full and hard for others to use. Additionally since the libraries are outside you don’t want to leave books around the box, where they might be damaged.
Similar to Goodwill, the Salvation Army is happy to take your book donations. The Salvation Army is, generally speaking, more open to all sorts of books and all conditions than other places. They will happily accept both hardcover and paperbacks.
Find a Salvation Army location by you and give them a call to see if they need books.
If you do a tax write-off the Salvation Army suggestions a value of between $1 and $3 as a donation value.
Better World Books
You may not have heard of them but Better World Books collects huge numbers of books through donation. They have many locations where book drop-offs are possible, though they are primarily located in the North East. You can ship them books as well, but they have so many Salvation Army-style drop-boxes that it’s worth looking for one by you if you are east of the Mississippi.
Where To Donate Books Online
It might not have occurred to you, but local is not the only route for book donations. This will require you shipping the book or someone picking up the book to be shipped, but the end result will be the same — a future for that book!
Some organizations to check out are:
How to Reduce Book Clutter In The Future?
If you have collected this many paper books, it seems unlikely that you’re going to go digital and fully embrace an e-book reader, but I would highly recommend audio books.