Donating Unwanted Books: Locally!

Continuation of this post.

Now that I’ve weeded through my shelves and picked out the books I no longer want, what do I do with them?

Well, there’s many ways you can get rid of books that allow others to read and love the books that you no longer want!

Local Outlets


Though this one may seem obvious, give them to a friend or family! If you went through an adventure phase a few years back and you know your Uncle Bill loves adventure books, then give them to Uncle Bill! You can also give the books you no longer want to read as gifts. (Though you may not want to give them that book you spilled a drink on!) I love it when a family member gives me a book and says I read this and love it, so I wanted to give you a copy. It makes you feel special, and it’s cheap!


Many schools and churches have low budgets, especially for (what they consider) unimportant things  like books, so you donating a box of books you no longer want would be a huge gift to these places.

Always call the school/church first and make sure they have a library or use for the books. Also, make sure the books are appropriate for the setting, you don’t want smut going to a church or grade school. My church has a small library and they accept donations. I’m actually in charge of the library, and any donations I get I pick through and make sure we can use. If the library can’t use them we place them in our annual yard sale, so the donation still goes to help the church.

Thrift/Secondhand Stores

My town has a thrift store that I absolutely love! I’ve literally gotten hauls of 60+ cozy mysteries there! Like almost every thrift story (also places like Goodwill and Salvation Army) they accept donations. Many of these places have boxes where you can simply drop off a bag of items, so this is a simple, easy way to donate to give back to your community! A lot of these types of stores also go to help local people, my local thrift store is healthcare oriented, so every penny it makes goes to scholarships for students going into healthcare fields, the local hospitals, and other places like that. Because of that I never feel sorry when I donate or buy from them!


Most American communities have a library, and if you’re not looking to get money out of the books you no longer want, I’d highly suggest donating them to your local library.

Most libraries accept donations; I know at my local library you can simply drop books in their book drop and they’ll do whatever they want with them. Check your library’s website or ask your local librarian before just throwing the books in the book drop, though, because your library may have special rules for donations.

At my local library, and at many libraries surrounding my library, they go through the donated books, and if there are books in great condition that they don’t already have they’re add them to their collection, however the rest they’ll sell in their book sales.

My town’s library also does not keep mass market paperbacks. It’s a small library and space is vital to them, so they’ve decided mass market paperbacks don’t have a big enough market in my town and they take up a lot of space, so they automatically sell them. So, make sure you know what your library does with the books. Especially if you will get your feelings hurt if all of your books go into a book sale.

Used Bookstore

Though not every community has a used bookstore (my closest one is 30 miles away!), they are a wonderful place to donate and sell used books. Many used bookstores will buy books from you with either cash or store credit (so, more books!), so it’s a great option if you want to get paid for donating your books. Most used bookstores will also accept donations, however they do not accept all used books, so check with them before dropping anything off!

No matter how small your town is you can do one of these things with your old books. However, always remember to check a place’s website or call them to be sure they accept donations! Also, don’t get your feelings hurt if you see a place decided not to keep a book you donated, just like us, libraries, churches, schools, even used bookstores have limited space, and they can’t keep everything. So, whatever you do do not throw away books you no longer want! There are ways you can give back to your community with those books,


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