Donating books can be a great way to clear out some space at home while also knowing that the books you and your family have enjoyed will be giving value to somebody else. While there may be some books you’d never want to part with, for instance personalized children’s books that are precious reminders of joyful times in your family’s lives, a lot of the time, once your children have outgrown the books they enjoyed when they were little, it can be a nice idea to donate books so that you can reclaim some storage space and allow someone else to make use of them.

Here we look at 15 of the most popular places to donate books nationwide, including both online and brick and mortar organizations and bookshops, so you can find the perfect home for your old books!


Goodwill

Number of Stores Nationwide: 158

Hours: See details of your local Goodwill by checking their website.

Donation Receipt: Yes

Website: www.goodwill.org 

How to Donate: You can donate books at Goodwill donation centers all over the country.

Why We Like Them:

Goodwill is certainly one of the best places to donate children’s books, and an easy and convenient choice for most people. You can check their website to find out the nearest location to you. Goodwill is a good place to donate books because the process is simple, and you can be assured that as a non-profit, the money made by resale of the books you give will be put towards important community efforts, including helping people get employment training and job placements.

Goodwill comprises 158 independent, community operated non-profit groups, with retail stores, outlets, and donation centers nationwide – check their website to learn more about stores in your area.

Best Places to Donate Books

Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič


Salvation Army

Number of Stores Nationwide: With 1.5 million members, the Salvation Army operates from different types of facilities, including retail stores and centers, and there are services local to most US cities, as well as worldwide. Check their website for your local facilities.

Hours: See their website for details of your local Salvation Army facilities.

Donation Receipt: Yes

Website: www.salvationarmyusa.org 

How to Donate: You can arrange for the Salvation Army to collect your donation from your home for free through their website.

Why We Like Them:

The Salvation Army is one of the world’s best known Christian charities, and their Family Stores can be good places to donate books for children. As with Goodwill, what makes the Salvation Army a great place to donate books is that not only will people be able to buy the books at low prices, but the money made from resale will go to good causes, such as helping people dealing with addiction.


Operation Paperback

Number of Stores Nationwide: Online only

Hours: N/A

Donation Receipt: Yes

Website: https://operationpaperback.org/ 

How to Donate: You can become a volunteer shipper, and receive addresses from the organization to send your books to, getting them directly into the hands of serving US military personnel, vets and their families.

Why We Like Them:

Operation paperback allows you to donate with a personal touch, sending the books out to their new recipients yourself. While they welcome all genres of gently used books, Operation Paperback is one of the top places to donate books for kids, because these are distributed to serving personnel who read to their children over webcam, and to the families of people serving overseas. 

Operation Paperback is remarkable for their impressive mission statement alone: since 1999 it has sent over 2.2 million books to veterans, serving US military, and their families at home.


Books For Africa

Number of Stores Nationwide: Sites in St Paul, MN and Atlanta, GA, but you can donate via mail from anywhere.

Hours: NA

Donation Receipt: Yes

Website: https://www.booksforafrica.org/ 

How to Donate: You can send in books by mail, though where possible, they also prefer a cash donation alongside the books to cover the cost of sending them to Africa.

Why We Like Them:

Books for Africa provide all kinds of fiction and non-fiction books to people in Africa, including academic and educational books that are under 15 years old. This can be handy if you have old textbooks or reference books, and also one of the best places to donate books for youngsters. The books are used to provide education and entertainment to people in third world countries in Africa.

Best Places to Donate Books

Photo by Darwin Vegher


Books Through Bars

Number of Stores Nationwide: N/A

Hours: N/A

Donation Receipt: Yes

Website: http://booksthroughbars.org/donate/books/ 

How to Donate: Check the website first for details of which books are accepted, and then donate via mail.

Why We Like Them:

While most of this list consists of places to donate books for younger readers, Books Through Bars is a non-profit that provides books to adults who are in prison. It can be one of the best places if you have books in categories that are in high demand, including many genres of fiction, and also reference books, how-to and self help. 

Note, however, that they do not accept hardback books, books that are in poor condition, or non-fiction books over five years old in genres like IT or marketing, where concepts in older books are out of date.


Better World Books

Number of Stores Nationwide: Online only

Hours: N/A

Donation Receipt: No – donations via dropboxes

Website: https://services.betterworldbooks.com/ 

How to Donate: You can donate via dropboxes all over the country (and the world). Find your nearest on their website.

Why We Like Them:

If you like organizations that innovate while also doing good, then Better World Books is a good place to start. They are an online book retailer that sells donated books of all different kinds, and uses the profits to fund literacy initiatives. As well as being one of our top places to donate books if you want to clear out your bookshelves, Better World Books can also be a good place to shop when you want to buy new books!


DonationTown

Number of Stores Nationwide: N/A

Hours: N/A

Donation Receipt: Yes

Website: http://donationtown.org/ 

How to Donate: Arrange collection from your home via their website.

Why We Like Them:

DonationTown is slightly different to the places so far on this list, because they actually collect books and other goods for a wide range of charities. You can check their website to find out which charities they are partnered with in your area, and then arrange for them to come and take away the books you’d like to donate. This makes it ideal if you are having a big clearout and have a lot of books to give.


Pickup Please

Number of Stores Nationwide: N/A

Hours: Can offer collection within 24 hours from most locations, and you don’t have to be at home when they collect.

Donation Receipt: Yes

Website: https://pickupplease.org/ 

How to Donate: Pickup Please will come to your home and collect the goods you want to donate. You can arrange this through their website.

Why We Like Them:

Pickup Please is a non-profit that collects donated items to help veterans and their families. They operate all over the country and are flexible about what kinds of books they will accept. This makes them one of the most convenient places to donate books for all ages, and one of the top book donation places if you have a large collection to donate, or would like to donate other useful items like clothing at the same time.


Habitat For Humanity ReStores

Number of Stores Nationwide: Around 800

Hours: Check the website for your local ReStore’s opening times and location.

Donation Receipt: Yes

Website: https://www.habitat.org 

How to Donate: You can either donate in person, or arrange for collection if you are donating a lot of items.

Why We Like Them:

Habitat For Humanity’s ReStores are retail shops that sell used goods that can help people stock up their houses for less, and the profits from sales go right back into Habitat For Humanity’s many charitable programs. While it is best known as a place to buy home appliances and building materials, it is also a useful venue for book donations, and one of the places to donate books knowing that your donation will go to a good cause.


Kids Need to Read

Number of Stores Nationwide: N/A

Hours: N/A

Donation Receipt: Yes

Website: https://www.kidsneedtoread.org 

How to Donate: Donations are sent in by mail. You are advised to contact them before sending bulk book donations.

Why We Like Them:

If you’re looking for places to donate books aimed at children, then Kids Need to Read is a fantastic choice, as they make sure the books go straight into the hands of underprivileged kids via donations to schools and community programs. It is perfect for books that are in ‘like new’ condition, and which are suitable for children – check the website for further details on what is considered an appropriate donation.

Best Places to Donate Books

Photo by Jonathan Borba 


Bookmooch

Number of Stores Nationwide: Online only

Hours: N/A

Donation Receipt: Yes, when donating to charities through Bookmooch

Website: http://bookmooch.com 

How to Donate: Join Bookmooch and you can donate books to charities and literacy programs, or send them directly to people who want them. In return, you earn points you can use to have books you want sent to you.

Why We Like Them:

Bookmooch is one of the most rewarding places to donate books, because it also allows you to get a book in return if you want it for every book you donate. This makes Bookmooch one of our best places where you can donate children’s books, allowing you to donate books your child has grown out of and receive new books they want instead, as well as also enabling you to donate kids’ books to charities that Bookmooch provides books to.


Freecycle

Number of Stores Nationwide: N/A

Hours: N/A

Donation Receipt: Generally no, as donations are made to individuals found through Freecycle’s network

Website: https://freecycle.org/ 

How to Donate: Make an account at Freecycle and list the books you’d like to donate – people in your local community can contact you to arrange how to get the books if they want them.

Why We Like Them:

Freecycle is a grassroots non-profit that allows people to give away things they don’t want to people who want them in their local area. It takes books of all kinds, and is a good choice of places to donate books children love to read if you like the idea of the books going to a new home in your local community.


Books To Prisoners

Number of Stores Nationwide: One store in Seattle

Hours: N/A

Donation Receipt: Yes

Website: http://www.bookstoprisoners.net/ 

How to Donate: Donate books by mail, or by visiting their location if you happen to live in Seattle at: 7601 Greenwood Avenue N, Seattle, WA, 98103

Why We Like Them:

Books to Prisoners is another great place to donate books to adults in prison. While this may not be a good choice if you’re looking for places to donate kid-friendly books, it is a great non-profit to give to if you have adult genre fiction, recent educational and reference books (especially dictionaries), and non-fiction books related to different hobbies, crafts and interests – though they only accept soft covers as many prisons do not permit hardback books, and they’re also more expensive to ship.


Paperback Swap

Number of Stores Nationwide: N/A

Hours: N/A

Donation Receipt: Generally no, as books are traded between individual members

Website: https://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php 

How to Donate: Join Paperback Swap and you can list the books you’d like to donate, and someone who wants them will request to have them sent to them. You then get points you can use to receive used books you want yourself (though you don’t have to use these if you’d rather just clear out your old books!).

Why We Like Them:

Paperback Swap is another place where you can get books in return for the ones you donate if you want to. This means that, like Bookmooch, it is one of the best places to donate books of all kinds for kids if you’d like to trade them in for books aimed at a more advanced reader as your child grows. Despite the name, you can trade hardback books, textbooks, and even audiobooks through the site.


Title Trader

Number of Stores Nationwide: Online only

Hours: N/A

Donation Receipt: No

Website: http://www.titletrader.com/ 

How to Donate: Similar to Paperback Swap and Bookmooch, you donate books to other members after listing the books you want to give away. You can receive points to use to receive books you want from others.

Why We Like Them:

Title Trader is another of the interesting new places to donate your old books where you can receive the books you want back via a points system. These can be good if you want your books to go to somebody who wants your specific titles, and also want to have the option to get different books to replace the ones you no longer want. Recycling books in this way gets more use out of every book, and also helps people who can’t afford all the new books they want to gain access to more books.


Best Places to Donate Books: The Sparknotes

  • Goodwill
  • Salvation Army
  • Operation Paperback
  • Books For Africa
  • Books Through Bars
  • Better World Books
  • Donation Town
  • Pickup Please
  • Habitat For Humanity ReStores
  • Kids Need To Read
  • Bookmooch
  • Freecycle
  • Books To Prisoners
  • Paperback Swap
  • Title Trader

These are all great options if you want the books your family has enjoyed to find a new home!