Perhaps, Dear Readers, you, like me, have a few books in need of new homes this holiday season. Maybe you’re clearing shelf space in anticipation of Santa leaving a few tomes under the tree, or maybe Hanukkah’s end finds you with more books than you expected.
There are many fine places to donate books; here are four where books from our house are headed this year.
This listing is for Massachusetts, but there are many similar programs that might be geographically closer to you. Book bloggers take note: ARCs are generally accepted by prison book programs.
Van Buren Family Shelter
This is a new shelter in Columbus, Ohio (home of my beloved alma mater) which I learned about from writer and professor Michelle Herman. She writes that about 250 children come through the shelter every month, and so volunteers are organizing a children’s book drive:
“The goal is to provide access to a library of books to every child, but also to send each child out of the shelter with two books of her or his own, and thus to collect at least 10,000 books now (or now-ish)–to cover the first two years or so. The organizers are contacting publishers, bookstores, libraries, and schools, as well as everyone they know, and I offered to expand the network to everyone I know. You could too, if you had a mind to. They are accepting new or gently used children’s books, which can be sent directly to the shelter.”
If you have new or gently used children’s books to send, the address is:
Van Buren Shelter
595 Van Buren Dr
Our Local Library
Prison book programs typically don’t accept hardcovers, so we donate ours to our local public library, where they might circulate, but more likely will be sold in the ongoing library book sale to raise funds for library improvements and outreach.
Epilepsy Foundation New England
The New England chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation collects all sorts of household goods donated by the community, including books.
I’m sure there are many other worthy places to donate books, and I’d be happy to hear about your favorites!
9 thoughts on “‘Tis the Season: Donating Books”
I have a hard time getting rid of books. But, when I do… I like to take a few to the Little Free Library down the road, our local library, the Canadian University Women’s Association for their annual book sale (at which I more than replace the ones I donated), and our used book store. I get credit for my books at the store, of course, but I would take them even if I didn’t – I’m so afraid that someday it won’t be there anymore that I try to support it as much as I can. 🙂
I love all those ideas!
Nice suggestions! When I was visiting my brother in Madison, Wisconsin, a few summers ago, I noticed a really interesting thing they had. They have little book houses outside all across the city that are like informal lending libraries. If you have finished a book and don’t want to keep it, you just go find one of those little places (they’re like little short covered shelves with a clear door), and you put your book inside. Anyone can come and take it. I think that’s an excellent idea!
Those are the Little Free Libraries Naomi mentioned! When we buy a house I can’t wait to make one!
Yes, it’s such a good idea, but in this case, I think the boxes were made and distributed by the city.
Great post! When I was in high school, I went to a summer camp that had me work with the Prison Book Program! Reading those letters was seriously life changing
How interesting! Did you find that some kinds of books were more in demand than others?
It was a solid decade ago, so my memory isnt great. But I definitely remember lots of requests for childrens books from people who had children and wanted to read them bedtime stories over the phone
I feel embarrassed that I didn’t think of that! Thank you so much for sharing.