As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. This is the reality of unwanted books. 

How many authors lose precious hours of sleep hoping they’ll write an “every man’s novel”? The kind of book that will suit all and be praised highly? Well, this is nearly never the case with any book. This ill-fated fact is something every author must come to terms with.

Like our tastes in food, our preference for books is ever-changing. What does this mean for those poor unfortunate paperweights lying around your house? They’ll probably never fulfil the hopes you first had when you purchased it, and they’ll just gather dust.

But, a second-hand book has a lot of history. You never know the real number of hands that have flipped through the pages, or caused a heinous dog-ear that cannot be undone. Back to that age-old saying, your “trash” can become someone else’s “treasure” by re-homing it. 

Following on from our hugely popular literary map of London, here is our list of the best places to donate books in London. In return, you’ll get a feeling of fulfilment that only comes with the notion of doing a truly good deed. 


London Charity Shops That Take Book Donations

Amnesty Bookshop

Amnesty International work to protect people against injustice. The global movement is the largest grassroots human rights organisation, aiming to mobilise humans to create a safer, fairer world. Their bookshop is run by volunteers and they want everything from fiction to nonfiction for all ages. They take CDs, DVDs and vinyls too if you have them going spare. Read more about Amnesty Bookshop.

Location/s: Hammersmith

Opening Hours:

Monday – Saturday: 10am to 6pm.

Sundays: 12pm – 4pm


Donating Books in London

Books for London

This one is pretty cool. Books for London is quickly establishing a London-wide book sharing scheme via London’s tube and train stations. Thousands of people travel through the stations every day, and everyone can take part. The scheme is run on a volunteer basis and they aim to reach as many as 700 of the underground and train stations in Greater London as possible. You can also check out our London Tube Map too.

Location/s: Check out the full list of locations of Books for London.

Opening Hours: Tube and train station hours.


Octavia Foundation

Octavia’s charity shops are located throughout central and west London. The foundation supports people affected by low income or unemployment, ill-health and social isolation. They care for older people through befriending and organising social activities and support young children through inspirational projects. Books are some of the many donations they need.

Location/s: Check out the full list of locations for the Octavia Foundation.

Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday  10am – 6pm but Sundays vary from shop to shop.


British Heart Foundation

The BHF envision a world free from the fear of heart and circulatory diseases. They raise money through a vast collection of projects to research cures and treatments, so they can beat heartbreak forever. The foundation works with ambassadors and supporters to achieve real results and keep the public well-informed on the projects going on in the UK.

Location/s: Check out the full list of locations for The BHF.

Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday  10am – 6pm but Sundays vary from shop to shop.


Oxfam

Oxfam is a global movement that strives to end poverty worldwide. They have hundreds of projects, disaster aid and community endeavours across the world, helping those in desperate need. They have many stores in Central and Greater London, and accept most unwanted goods, all of which can be re-homed using their charity stores or through their online Oxfam store. Either way, your books will have a new home.

Location/s: Check out the full list of locations for Oxfam.

Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday  10am – 6pm but Sundays vary from shop to shop.


Fara Charity Shops

This place is a must for bibliophiles and there’s a big choice of locations in Greater London and Central London. FARA Charity transforms the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged children, and young people in Romania through their work and the donations they receive. Be sure to give them a call beforehand to make sure they can accommodate the books!

Location/s: Check out the full list of locations for Fara Charity Shops.

Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday  10am – 6pm but Sundays vary from shop to shop.


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London Children’s Book Project

The books donated to this foundation are cleaned and sorted by age and topic before being distributed to their partner organisations. They aim to give books that reflect children’s interest and reading needs. You can post your books to them using the mailing address below or arrange a pick up of 100+ books within West London or of 250+ books across London. 

Location/s: Use the mailing address below or complete the London Children’s Book Project form.

Mailing Address: London Children’s Book Project, 4 Grenfell Road, London, W11 4BN