Do you have too many books? Have you been searching for ways to donate books in Chicago? If this sounds like you, then look no further, this is the perfect place for you! We’ve compiled a list with all the best places to donate books in Chicago, with information on how to donate, what books the organizations need and where you can take them to be donated. 

COVID Update: We recommend using drop off points only and avoid going into stores where possible. We’ve listed the various ways you can donate to each organization below.

Where to Donate Books in Chicago

📸 David Mark

Uncharted Books

Location: 5140 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640
Sunday to Wednesday 11am-7pm
Thursday to Saturday 11am-9pm
Welcomes walk-in sellers Monday to Tuesday 12pm-6pm

Donation Receipt: No

How to Donate

Uncharted Books is a used and rare bookstore and will not accept any donations in bad condition. The store has limited space, staff and funds. Their inventory is always changing, so the genres they are or aren’t accepting may change. At the time of writing, this is the list of genres that they are accepting:

  • Rare and antiquarian books
  • Fiction – in particular contemporary, literacy novels and single-author fiction collections
  • Poetry
  • Trade-bound comics
  • Identity politics – feminism, LGBT and race issues
  • Philosophy

The list below is what Uncharted Books are not currently accepting:

  • Anthologies
  • Business
  • Magazines
  • Textbooks
  • Diet books

For a full list of what is and isn’t accepted, check out their website.

Chicago Books for Women in Prison

Location: 4511 N. Hermitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60640
Hours: Saturday to Sunday 2pm-4:30pm
Donation Receipt: Yes

How to Donate

Drop off the books to the prison on weekends, 2pm-4:30pm. 

Alternatively, you can mail the books – send by USPS to the address:

Chicago Books to Women in Prison c/o RFUMC
4511 N.Hermitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640

Please note that the storage is limited and they are currently well-stocked. If unsure if you should donate, email first.

Below is a selected list of their most wanted books – books should be in very good condition.

  • Urban fiction and Christian urban fiction
  • True crime
  • Dream dictionaries
  • Yoga
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Books in Spanish – fiction and non-fiction

Books they are unable to accept:

  • Hardcover books, spiral bindings, sticker books, glitter or unconventional materials
  • Magazines
  • Books with more than minimal writing inside (inscription is permitted)
  • Board games

Items they do not need:

  • Coloring or children’s books

For a full list of the books they require and are unable to accept, please visit their website.

Book Driver

Location: JMC Barbershop 105 Addison Ave, Elmhurst, IL 60126
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm
Donation Receipt: No

How to Donate

Drop your books off at the above address, or fill in a request donation pick up form/call 720-840-0291

Book Driver is a book donation pick up service, with one drop off location (but they’re looking for more!) If you can’t drop the books off yourself, contact them requesting a pick up, and they will do exactly that! They will arrange a time and date that suits you to pick up the books or goods you wish to donate. The pick up is limited to 10 boxes or 300 books.

Once contacted, Book Driver aims to get back to you within 1 business day.

Book Driver takes books, DVDs. vinyls, CDs and video games. All are sold or donated and support a wide range of charities such as:

Open Books, Friends of Library Organizations, First Book Chicago and Good Will.

Book Driver will not accept the following:

  • Magazines
  • Large folio photography or coffee table books
  • Childrens and kids books
  • Damaged books
  • Cook books
  • Legal books

For a full list of items that should not be donated to Book Driver, please visit their website.

Please bear in mind, if you require a write-off or tax receipt, Book Driver does not offer this service.

Open Books

Open Books has four drop off points across Chicago making it easier than ever to donate your unwanted books no matter where you live! 

West Loop

#1 651 W Lake, Chicago, IL 60661 (No more than 4 boxes at this location)
#2 645 W Couch Pl., Chicago, IL 60661 (Drop off box is located between Randolph and Lake St., behind the West Loop store)
Hours: Monday to Saturday 9am-7pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm


905 W 19th Street., Chicago, IL 60608
Drop in the slot in the front of the building available 24 hours a day. Larger donations are accepted during store hours 7 days a week 10am-4pm

River North

802 W. Superior, Chicago, IL 60642
Drop box at the corner of Halsted and Superior.

Donation Receipt: No

How to Donate

Use the drop off locations listed above, or arrange a pick up through the form on their website. Open Books can collect the donations from Monday to Friday 10am-2pm in their booksmobile.

Open Books accept:

  • Children’s books
  • Books in all genres in good condition
  • CDs, DVDs and LPs

Open Books do not accept:

  • Encyclopedias
  • Old textbooks
  • Books with damage
  • Magazines
  • VHS tapes or Audiobooks on cassette

Where to Donate Books in Chicago

📸 Engin Akyurt

Books 4 Cause

Location: Will organize the collection of donations
Hours: Monday to Friday 7am-3pm
Donation Receipt: No

How to Donate

Organize a pickup service through their website contact form.

To fully utilize Books 4 Cause’s services, a $25 donation to the African Library Project charity is required in return for the full book pick up service. This service includes boxes and tape, and the muscle needed to move those heavy books.

Books 4 Cause accepts books, CDs and DVDs. While most condition books are welcomed, if you know your book should or needs to be recycled, Books 4 Cause encourages you to do this yourself. 

The organization also accepts old books, if the information is still relevant.

K-12 grade books are sent to either kids in Africa or sent to kids in Chicago, and college level books are given to an African University Library or resold, depending on the needs of the universities. 

The rest are either sold, given away or recycled.

Bernie’s Book Bank

Location: 917 North Shore Dr., Lake Buff, IL 60044
Hours: 8:30am-5pm Monday through Saturday, or, drop off books at any Wintrust Bank location
Donation Receipt: Yes

How to Donate

Drive to Bernie’s Book Bank for an easy donation. If you have a large number of books, they can help you unload them from your car into the side door. Ring the doorbell once you have driven up the driveway, and someone can assist you.

Have 500 or more books? Bernie’s Book Bank will collect them from you, contact them here. Please bear in mind that the boxes should be no bigger than the size of a bankers box.

Bernie’s Book Bank accepts new and lightly used children’s books, from birth to 6th grade.

They do no accept textbooks, dictionaries, activity books, coloring books, reference material, religious books or foreign-language books (dual language is fine).

The Newberry (Chicago’s Independent Research Library)

Location: 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, IL 60610
Hours: 9am-4pm, Monday to Saturday
Donation Receipt: Yes, through Book Fair Manager or guard on duty

How to Donate

If you are considering donating books to The Newberry, please contact first. 

The Newberry accepts books, music, DVDs and other collectible items for their annual book fair.

They accept: 

  • Books – fiction and non-fiction for children and adults (both paperback and hardcover are welcomed)
  • Manuscripts
  • CDs
  • DVDs
  • Magazines (history, art, literacy and antiques)

The Newberry are not currently accepting:

  • Weekly magazines such as The New Yorker, Vogue etc
  • Condensed books
  • Textbooks
  • Materials with excessive highlighting, missing covers or damaged by insects
  • Other non-book donations

Small donations (less than 5 boxes or bags) can be dropped off at the loading dock on the North side of the building. Large donations (more than 5 boxes or bags) can be dropped off but a call is required to schedule in advance on 312-255-3581.

Where to Donate Books in Chicago

📸 Nick Youngson

Pilsen Community Books

Location: 1102 W 18th St., Chicago, IL 60608
Hours: Sunday to Monday 11am-7pm, Tuesday to Saturday 11am-9pm
Donation Receipt: No

How to Donate

Book an appointment by emailing with clear photos of the types of books you’re wanting to sell.

Pilsen Community Books is slightly different to the other organizations in this list, as instead of donating the books, you’re selling the books to them to then sell on your behalf. Once sold, the profits will help support Pilsen’s schools.

They do not accept:

  • Children’s books or Young Adult books older than 2014
  • Romance
  • Books with highlighting, underlining or notes
  • Encyclopedias, law books, text books or teaching materials.
  • Magazines of any type

Where Can I Donate Books in Chicago? The Spark Notes: 

  • Uncharted Books
  • Chicago Books for Women in Prison
  • Book Driver
  • Open Books
  • Books 4 Cause
  • Bernie’s Book Bank
  • The Newberry
  • Pilsen Community Books

Don’t forget to check out our newly created Book Donation Map of America, featuring these locations and thousands more.

We hope this has helped you find some motivation to donate the books that have been sitting on your bookshelf waiting to be re-homed, or inspired you to start thinking about donating.