Here are some ways to give old books a new life while clearing them out of yours…

First step: Figure out your goal—do you want to make money from the books…support a local library…help promote community literacy? How many books do you have—a few boxes or a whole roomful? Are the books valuable, for instance rare or vintage? Children’s books? What shape are they in? Once you know what you have, consider…

Local places to donate: Friends and family…online swap groups and buy-nothing groups (search Facebook Groups for “book swap groups”)…local libraries (librarians also may know of other organizations to try)…schools…daycare centers…prisons…senior centers…local literacy programs (Google “literacy volunteers” to find one in your area)…community and church book sales…used-book stores (they even may pay you)…thrift stores such as Goodwill and Salvation Army.

Also try: Little Free Library’s ­mailbox-sized outdoor exchanges—check to find ones near you. Or advertise on Facebook Marketplace, Craigs-list and/or Freecycle for anyone interested to come and pick them up.

Donating further afield…

Books for Soldiers ( and Operation Paperback ( put reading material into the hands of our troops.

Kids Need to Read ( sends books to schools in underserved communities.

African Library Project ( delivers gently used children’s books to African students.

Books for Africa ( accepts children’s and adult titles.

Better World Books ( has a similar mission and is an online bookstore that donates a book with every purchase.

If you want to earn cash: Amazon and eBay take some effort, so it’s best to check what other people are getting for similar books to see if selling on these sites is worthwhile. An easier online option is


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