When the Bookshelves Spilleth Over: Ideas and Links for Book Donations

Saturday, January 15, 2011
They are in neat little piles—on the dining table, the corner of your desk, the floor in front of your desk, and in front of the bookcase (the shelves of which are full)—books! The women at the library see you so often that they have christened you with a nickname. Are there other places where your books could find love? Yes, Virginia, there are!

First, if charity is to begin at home, let’s take a look around your community. In addition to libraries there are other institutions that need books—some you may not have considered.
  • Family Shelters/Women’s Shelters/Homeless Shelters/Teen Pregnancy Homes/ Orphanages

  • Drug Rehabilitation Homes

  • Child Outreach Programs

  • Assisted Living Centers

  • Long-Term Care Centers

  • Hospitals

  • Prisons

  • Juvenile Detention Centers

  • Churches

  • Literacy Programs

  • And charities that operate thrift stores such as Humane Society, Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc…

No time to track down a local charity? Perhaps you would like to act globally. Following are a few links to organizations which may be of interest.

Donation Town


You want to give back to your own community but don’t have time to track down a needy cause— Donation Town can help. Simply type in your zip code and Donation Town will provide you with a list of organizations that want your donation and will even arrange for a free pick-up. You can’t beat that!

Operation Paperback


The men and women of our armed forces like to escape with a good book too! Input the genres you wish to donate and their automated system will generate a list of servicemembers’ names and addresses. Requires a quick, free registration.

Better World Books


This is an online book store with a purpose. Better World Books collects new and used books; some books are donated directly to charities, others are sold with the proceeds helping to fund literacy programs in the U.S. and around the world. This is a socially and environmentally responsible company.

Liberian Development Foundation


Books and educational materials are difficult to come by in Liberia. This organization collects used books, media, and school supplies in good condition.

Books for Africa


Working to improve the literacy and education of African students, Books for Africa accepts donations of educational reference books, fiction and non-fiction suitable for the African student (for instance, American History is not one of their subjects). Donations are tax-deductible.

International Book Project, Inc


Providing quality used books to developing countries; this 501(c)3 organization accepts children’s books, vocational books, English grammar, reference and other educational texts. Based in Kentucky.



Kid Powered! Book Ends accepts children’s and YA books. Students collect, sort, and personally deliver the books to youth centers, homeless shelters, children’s group homes and other places where there is need. Based in Southern California.

The Bookman


A 501(c)3 charity based in San Diego, California, The Bookman accepts all book donations. Books are donated to groups and organizations in need.

Books For America


Donations of books, movies and music CDs to Books for America are tax-deductible. Based in Washington, DC, this organization supplies books to schools, prisons and libraries. Donations must be in near-new condition.

Tax-deductible receipts aside; the true joy is that each book you give away may open up a whole new world for someone else.

Robyn Chausse

What do you do with your over abundance of books? Share your thoughts with us.


Trisha said...

Yeah...I totally need to cull my collection. :P And I don't need to sell. So donation is a great idea!

Very cool links!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Robyn!

My book shelves are definitely overflowing & I am in the midst of an office de-cluttering operation!

PM_Poet Writer

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