Today is the 22nd annual Read Across America day. This is a program that I think is fabulous because I loved to read as a child & I still try to get in as much reading as I can.
Read Across America is dedicated to motivating children in all communities to celebrate reading in conjunction with the beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss, whose birthday is tomorrow, March 2nd. Who doesn’t love Dr. Seuss’ books?!
As a professional organizer, I am urging all of you to round up those books that you no longer read, need, have grown out of and are gathering dust and donate them.
Here is a list of 10 ideas on how to donate or recycle your gently used books.
- Better World Books: A global e-retailer that collects and sells used books online with a matching donation for each sale. They have book drop boxes throughout the United States. The books are picked up from the drop box site and transported to one of their sorting facilities and there they determine which books are able to be sold, donated or recycled. Books in good condition are either sold online through their website or one of their 30+ marketplaces or donated to literacy partners. Books that cannot be sold or donated are recycled and converted into pulp for new products such as brown tissue, cardboard, or even new book covers. Not one book will ever see a landfill! Please visit their website to learn more and to find a location near you.
- BookCrossing: This is the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise.”The term is derived from bookcrossing.com, a free online book club which was founded to encourage the practice, aiming to “make the whole world a library.” If you finish your book while you are sitting in your doctor’s waiting area, leave it for the next person who might enjoy it. Make sure that you don’t leave any personal information in it such as your name, address or the bank receipt you were using as a bookmark.
- Book Swaps: You can host a book swap at your home. Invite your friends, family, and neighbors – just make sure they enjoy reading! Ask them to bring along 2-3 used books they no longer need. You could also serve food or better yet have a potluck so you are not stuck doing all of the work! The basic gist is that you all swap books and everyone goes home with a couple of books they have never read before. Your guests can talk about the book they brought and why they loved reading it. You can also make a game of it similar to a white elephant party. Just be aware that it could get quite competitive! There are a ton of ideas online to inspire and help you have a successful swap.
- Internet Search: Google “where to donate books” in your area so you can pass on your books to give a little bit of enjoyment to someone else. There are many places that would be happy to receive your donations.
- Little Free Library: This is probably my favorite way to donate books! Little Free Library is a neighborhood book exchange where anyone can take or leave a book. Use their world map to find a library in your area, then stop by and drop off your books! Some of the libraries people build are so stinking cute! Who knows? Maybe you will want to build your own Little Free Library for your neighborhood!
- Local libraries: I recommend calling in advance to see if they are currently accepting book donations. You can visit the library’s website as well. They often have a monthly donation day along with a list of materials they can and cannot accept.
- Local Retirement Homes: Please don’t just show up boxes of books to drop off at your local retirement home. I recommend calling the location to discuss what kind of books they are looking for and to make sure they indeed want your used books.
- Local schools: I would touch base with the school’s district office to see if they are accepting book donations. My grandson’s high school held a book drive during the month of February to raise money for mental health awareness.
- Savers: Savers family of stores is a for-profit, global thrift retailer who will accept your gently used books and more! You can feel good when you donate at a Savers Community Donation Center. They help by keeping 700 million pounds of stuff out of landfills each year! Please contact your local store for a complete list of acceptable and non-acceptable donations. This list may be changed and/or modified as needed to accommodate business needs. They have locations throughout the United States. You can find a location near you on their website.
- Read Indeed: Read Indeed is a charity that has grown out of one girl’s wish to share her love of reading with kids in need. Her charity collects and distributes gently use and new books to children from ages 0-18. She has donated nearly 1.8 million books, equating to more than $5,000,000 in book donations. You are can find more information on their website.
Be Awesome! Be a Book Nut! ~ Dr. Seuss