From the Forum – Donating Books (fiction & nonfiction)

by Prince Of Petworth March 16, 2016 at 2:00 pm 25 Comments

little free library
Photo by PoPville flickr user Melanie Cohen

“I have dozens of books (fiction & nonfiction) that I’d like to donate/give away. Are their organizations that take books? Thanks!”

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  • K

    There is (or at least was) a bin outside of the 14th St SE Safeway that collected used books for donation. When we moved out of the Car Barns down the street I dropped several boxes of books of in that bin.

  • anon

    There is a DC organization that accepts books (mostly paperback) for prisons, you can see more details and which books they will accept on their site at http://dcbookstoprisoners.org/donate-books

    • DCreader

      +1 to this, they are a great organization and are always in need of donations. But you should probably just donate paperbacks to them, since many prisons don’t allow hardcovers. Most DC libraries have “Friends” groups that do book sales, and you could drop the hardcovers off with them.

      • elbeech

        Another +1 for Books to Prisons

  • anon

    The library

    • Rebekah

      This is late, but just a heads up: please call ahead if you are planning to take books to the library! The Friends groups (like the library booster club) are the ones in charge of book donations, and the situation varies widely from branch to branch. Some branches don’t have a Friends group to do this, some groups have way too many items right now, while some are eagerly accepting donations, etc. So it’s important to always check first.

  • bv1837

    There is a books to prisons program: http://dcbookstoprisoners.org/donate-books

  • bruno

    They limit it to two boxes at a time because of a small workspace, but the DC Books to Prisons Project takes good condition paperback books. They answer book requests from inmates nationwide. Check out the Donate Books tab on their site http://www.bookstoprisons.org Also a worthy place for a cash donation (tax deductible!) They work out of the basement of Foundry Methodist Church at 16th and P Streets NW though are not religiously affiliated.

    • 16thSter

      This is great because it’s near my apartment. Thank you! Spring cleaning this weekend…

      • bruno

        Great! Wednesday (today) is the regular book packing evening there if you want to drop by and check it out. Directions on the website.

  • jumpingjack

    Friends of the Takoma library is currently taking donations for its annual book sale. They recently wrote on the neighborhood listserve that they’re taking: “Biographies, autobiographies and memoirs… Cookbooks… Children’s books… Literary and popular fiction… Science fiction… History and politics… Social sciences… Graphic novels… cookbooks… and all other categories. Please donate thoughtfully: WE CANNOT SELL BOOKS IN POOR CONDITION — torn, yellowed with age, missing pages etc. NO TEXTBOOKS, STUDY GUIDES, COMPUTER MANUALS OLDER THAN FIVE YEARS, or MAGAZINES” Drop off donations during library business hours.

  • Amanda

    Books for America will schedule a pick up if you have enough books (50). They also take drop offs at the store in DuPont and at their many donation bins in Virginia. http://www.booksforamerica.org/bookdonationbins.html

  • CVR

    The SE library right next to Eastern Market metro has a monthly sale that benefits the library. The drop off bin is located near the backdoor up the ramp. Also, Carpe Librum (http://www.carpelibrum.org/getinvolved.html), Turning the Page’s bookstore, benefits DC public schools. And lastly there’s Books for America (http://www.booksforamerica.org/) whose aim is to better school and prison libraries.

  • Shaw

    The Goodwill on South Dakota Avenue (by the Costco) takes books …

    • bruno

      Went there once. Never realized how big the District is. Felt really far.

  • TW

    Books for America passes books to a lot of other worthy causes (prisons, libraries, kids’ programs, etc) and also has a used book store to support its program. They take donations at the store near Dupont Circle, and their website also has a list of donation bins around the area.

    Here’s the list of what they’re looking for: http://booksforamerica.org/whattodonate.html

  • shawgal

    Thanks for all the ideas!

  • TropicBird

    I have noticed that the “Tiny Library” on the west side of 13th just south of Logan Circle has been looking pretty empty if you want to fill it up! Also the one on Illinois Ave near the sw corner at Allison St NW.

  • Take them to Wall of Books in Park View and get store credit…to bring home more books!

    • DK

      YES! Walls of Books is a great new, local store that buys and sells used books.

  • ET

    I think many public library branches (Friends of the X) have booksales and have donation bins at the library. I know the SE branch does in any case.

  • Mike

    Depending on the age appropriateness and condition of the books, a lot of charter schools in DC that have libraries will gladly take them. My wife is a librarian at a charter school and takes donations every now and then since their budget is quite small for the school year.

  • Matt

    Have you started your spring cleaning? The Friends of the Takoma DC Library wants your gently used books for our next book sale!We need all types of books — fiction and nonfiction. Our spring sale will be in May 2016 (date to be determined).

    Books that sell well include:
    Biographies, autobiographies and memoirs…Cookbooks…Children’s books…Literary and popular fiction…Science fiction…History and politics…Social sciences…Graphic novels…cookbooks…and all other categories.
    Please donate thoughtfully: WE CANNOT SELL BOOKS IN POOR CONDITION — torn, yellowed with age, missing pages etc. NO TEXTBOOKS, STUDY GUIDES, COMPUTER MANUALS OLDER THAN FIVE YEARS, or MAGAZINES — please put them in your home recycling. Donating books we can’t use makes more work for us, and for the library housekeeping staff!

    When you bring your donations to the library, please give them to the librarians upstairs, or let them know you have left them downstairs so they can be moved to the book room. And don’t forget to ask for a receipt for tax purposes. For large donations or any other donating questions, please contact Pam Ellison – [email protected].

    Proceeds for our book sales help support the many exciting activities offered by our library, especially those for children and teens.

    Drop your donations off here during business hours: Takoma Park DC Neighborhood Library416 Cedar Street, NW
    Sun. 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.Mon. 9:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.Tues. 9:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.Weds. 9:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.Thurs. 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.Fri. 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.Sat. 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

  • N

    Books to Prison is a great place to donate. http://dcbookstoprisoners.org/

  • Tom

    I use turningthepage.org – they sell them at their store, Carpe Librum, on 17th street – Money goes to DC school kids!


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