Top Tips for Donating Old Books

Making some more room in your home? Refining your bookcase space? Going through your parents’ old books? You don’t have to hold onto the books that don’t have a place in your space anymore. Though we love books, they can take up quite a bit of space. So, if you aren’t interested in them, donate them. Someone else will get way more excited about the story and get to experience its twists and turns for the very first time.

To keep books for collecting dust on the shelf, follow these top tips for donating old books. Let someone else enjoy the beauty of the words on the page.

Don’t Donate Anything Water Damaged

We don’t want to freak you out, but there are several don’ts when it comes to donating old books. If the pages are falling out, then that’s something you should recycle, not donate. If you’ve smoked around the book and there’s a noticeable smoke scent, don’t donate it. If you’ve spilled water on it, if it got wet during a flood, or if there’s any chance that there might be any mold or water damage, don’t donate it.

Think about it—if you wouldn’t want to pick up the book, then it’s not something to donate. You’re just moving your clutter onto someone else.

Sort Through Before Donating

Once you’ve gone through those books you just can’t donate, sort through the rest. We’re not saying you need to get the books all organized into fiction, non-fiction, and all the other genres (though that’s a sweet touch), but you do need to sort through to ensure you’re not donating your kid’s old library book. You also want to ensure that you’re not accidentally donating old photo albums, yearbooks, or handwritten journals. This step is essential.

Check On Acceptance

Before you hand over every single bound item in your home, make sure it can actually be accepted first. This is one of the most important tips for donating old books. Some places only accept hard or soft cover books (meaning not encyclopedias or magazines). Others will accept it all, as long as the encyclopedias aren’t ancient. Others won’t want old textbooks. Call ahead and see what they accept before you pile your collections on them.

If You Can’t Donate, Recycle It

If you find that donating won’t be the best bet for your books, don’t toss them in the trash. Recycle them! See how you can reuse them, or see if there’s anyone else who may want the books. Either way, we want to ensure that you’re not filling up landfills with books; after all, there are so many people who would get use of the books even if you don’t.

When you’re looking for a place to donate, turn to GreenDrop. We accept a variety of items, from books, to clothes, to home goods—we’ll take it if you drop it off, or we have a donation pick-up service. Check out our acceptable items and see whether your books have a place with us. We think they will!

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