Where You Can Donate Books in Chicagoland

Make it a family project to donate some books!

Books are a wonderful way to teach children about the world around them, and used books can be just as meaningful the second and third time around. Here are some Chicagoland places and organizations that will give your books a loving home.

Bernie’s Book Bank 

Bernie’s Book Bank sources and distributes quality children’s books to at-risk Chicagoland children, providing each child with eight books a year from birth to sixth grade. They take fiction, non-fiction, chapter books and picture books. You can donate gently used books at one of their book drop locations.


This free bookstore takes donations at their Avondale location anytime during business hours and at their Skokie location 24/7. You can also arrange a pickup. The free store is open to anyone and keeps a collection of school supplies and DVDs for their customers, as well.

Cradles to Crayons

Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth to age 12 who live in homeless or low-income situations with the essential items they need to thrive at home, at school and at play through “KidPacks” that are hand selected to meet a local child’s needs and wants. Kids love to receive gently used books in their KidPacks! Donations can be delivered to a number of Community Drop-Off Sites.

Family Tree Resale

This shop in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood lets you drop off your gently-used books. They only accept items at the back door and do not offer pickups.

Little Free Library 

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. These book exchanges increase access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds. Little Free Library sites are popping up everywhere and you’ve probably seen these in your own neighborhood! If you are looking to donate books, search for the location nearest you and drop off your book. But don’t forget to take one, too – you may find a new favorite for yourself or your child.

Open Books 

Open Books is a nonprofit that provides literacy programs for thousands of readers through inspiring programs. They accept fiction, nonfiction, craft books, children’s books and more. If your book is in good condition, Open Books puts it to good use by re-selling them in stores and online to help fund these world-class literacy programs and book grants for local schools. Open Books makes it very easy to donate books! Simply place them into drop bins around the city, at any Open Books store location or schedule a free pick up via the Booksmobile.

Reach Out and Read Illinois

Reach Out & Read Illinois prepares low-income children for kindergarten by partnering with pediatricians to provide families with children ages six months to five years with books they need to make reading part of their daily routine. Often times, siblings would like books, too. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, used books are no longer accepted. If you would like to donate new books to this organization, fill out a donating books form.

Share Our Spare

Share our Spare provides cost-free essentials for the early years by collecting new and gently-used infant and toddler items from families with extra to “spare” and distributes them to local families in need. New or gently-used books for children up to age six can be donated on select dates at the organization’s “Sharehouse” warehouse in River West. Unable to get there? Share Our Spare also offers a donation pick up service. 

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Lori Orlinsky
Lori Orlinsky
Lori Orlinsky is an award-winning journalist and bestselling children's book author. She is the mom of three little ladies who keep her on her toes.
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