7 Best Places to Donate & Give Away Your Old Books

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Decluttering and looking for somewhere to donate your old books?

Decluttering is one of the many ways to straighten out and organize your life. Recent research indicates that it can relieve your stress and increase your happiness immensely.

But when decluttering, one of the hardest things to get rid of can be old books. It can be mentally tiring to search for a place to put them, and emotionally exhausting to simply think about letting them go.

If you want to be happier and healthier, you know that you need to tidy up. And to do that, you need to find your old books a new home.

This article lists seven of the best places where you can give away those old books. Now you can be certain that they will continue to be useful and enrich other people’s lives.

Let’s get started!

1. The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is an international organization that focuses on providing social aid to everyone, regardless of age, culture, or gender. It has facilities in over 130 countries and a worldwide membership of more than 1.7 million people.

The mission of this organization is to bring salvation to those in need. It offers aid to the poor and  less fortunate through both physical and spiritual means. Most of the projects include relief operations, managing shelters for the homeless, and providing aid to developing countries.

As part of its mission, the organization accepts donations of both money and goods, including clothing, books, toys, and any other material that is still usable. These donations are often directed to rehabilitation centers and charity shelters, providing light and hope to all the people they are helping.

If you are looking for a legitimate organization that can help you make the best use of your old books, you can check out the Salvation Army’s site or click this link if you are ready to drop them off. You can also donate money, or clothes and other items if you need to declutter.

2. Goodwill

Goodwill is also a charitable, non-profit organization that provides help to disabled, underprivileged, and less fortunate people. It mainly focuses on job training, employment placement, work education, and other programs that increase people’s chances of landing a job.

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Goodwill is a legitimate organization where you can donate your old books and other stuff.

Generally speaking, the organization’s mission is to eliminate barriers that prevent people from reaching their maximum potential.

It seeks to enhance people’s self-respect, dignity, and quality of life by strengthening communities through donation drives and programs. For the most part, it focuses on people with disabilities, poverty, and unemployment.

Similar to other charities, Goodwill accepts money and material donations. Materials can include books, clothing, toys, and even gadgets and computers.

These donations are then sold on Goodwill’s online selling platform and the proceeds are used to fund programs that are useful to donees and members (e.g., employment training, job placement services).

Goodwill is a legitimate organization where you can donate your old books and other stuff. If you want to declutter while helping people find jobs, then this is a great option. You can find the nearest Goodwill branch near you by clicking this link.

3. Africa

Two leading organizations can help you donate your books to the people of Africa. One is the African Library Project, and the other is Books of Africa.

African Library Project

Founded in 2005 by Chris Bradshaw, the African Library Project continues to bring joy and happiness to the hearts of the African people through the construction of public libraries.

Bradshaw aims to bring an end to the poverty and illiteracy in the region by raising funds and organizing book drives that can help expand the development of these libraries.

You can either donate money (for the organizers to buy books) or join a book drive (so you can donate your old books). If you are feeling extra motivated, you can even start your own book drive.

Books of Africa

Like the African Library Project, this organization is dedicated to ending hardship and lack of education across Africa.

It accepts various types of donations related to learning, such as books, tablets, computers, and library enhancement materials. The organization believes that education is the key to achieving a better quality of life for all the continent’s inhabitants.

You can donate your old books by sending them via mail, or by dropping them off at the organization’s warehouses. Just remember that there are some donation rules you need to follow.

4. Military

The life of a soldier can tough, and sometimes they just need something to perk them up. If you have tons of books you need to clear out, put them to good use by donating them to our modern-day heroes.

Books for Soldiers

This organization was founded by Storm Bear Williams during the Gulf War. He wanted to help his friends and colleagues who joined the war effort by providing them a simple way to entertain themselves.

To that end, he founded Books for Soldiers as a way to support the men and women of the armed forces. Check out the organization’s site to learn more about how to donate.

Operation Paperback

Operation Paperback provides its services to American troops overseas and veterans and military families in the country. It was founded in 1999, and since then has shipped nearly 2.9 million books to more than 30 countries. You can click on the title link to learn more about the donation process.

Vietnam Veterans of America

Vietnam Veterans of America caters to veterans and their families. In addition to books, you can donate other items like clothing, toys, and household materials. For more information on how to send your items, click the title link above.

5. Prisoners

Being in prison doesn’t mean that learning should stop. Many prisoners enjoy activities such as reading to keep themselves entertained and updated about the outside world. Check out these two organizations that can help you donate your old books to prisoners.

Books through Bars

Books through Bars operates in six states: Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. It accepts requests from prisoners for specific books they would like to read, and then selects from donations to help the prisoners get these books.

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Many prisoners enjoy activities such as reading to keep themselves entertained and updated about the outside world.

If you want to be a part of a prisoner’s healing process, you can do so by donating your old books to Books through Bars.

Prison Book Program

The Prison Book Program is available in three countries: the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. It started in 1972, and since then has facilitated healing and entertainment for over 10,000 prisoners each year.

6. Local Libraries and Communities

Libraries are always great places to donate your old books. You don’t have to limit yourself to public and community libraries, however. You can also donate to schools and other establishments that provide a space for reading and learning.

Here are some organizations that can help you donate your books to libraries around the world.


Freecycle allows you to give and get stuff for free in your town. It is like a shopping center, except that you do not have to pay for anything.

Simply post what you want to give or receive, and you will eventually find a donee or donor. Sign up today and donate those old books!

Habitat for Humanity ReStores

This organization currently offers its services across all 50 states of the United States, as well as in nearly 70 countries worldwide.

It is mostly focused on providing housing help to those who do not have a place to live. However, you can also donate other items like books and appliances if you want.

Better World Books

Better World Books allows you to donate your old books to libraries, individuals, bookstores, or book drives. When you visit their site, simply choose who you want to donate to and you will be redirected to the donation process.

7. Children

Children are the future, but they need education in order to thrive.

As adults, we have to provide this education to them and make sure that they grow up with the knowledge and understanding of the world. One of the best ways to do so is by donating your old books to them.

There are a lot of organizations that handle book drives and donations for children. Here are two of the most prominent ones.

Kids Need to Read

The organizers behind Kids Need to Read aim to help children discover the importance of reading and literacy.

The organization encourages people across the country to aid in supporting these children through book donations, literacy programs, and library enhancements. If you wish to become a part of this movement, you can check out their site and learn more.

Children’s Book Bank

Children’s Book Bank’s mission is to help more children discover the joy of reading and learning.

It was created to encourage everyone to improve children’s lives and become the reason they want to read more. If you want to be a part of this community, check out the organization’s site or click this link to give books directly.

Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Donate Books

There are many other places where you can donate your old books, like hospitals, community centers, and retirement homes.

Along with the organizations we shared above, we hope that you can create a significant impact in the lives of others through your donation. Finally, we hope that we were able to help you find a great new home for your old books.

Finally, if you want to increase your happiness and life satisfaction, then watch this free video that details the 7-minute habit for planning your day to focus on what's important.

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