If you’ve recently had a “tidy up” of your belongings, your bookshelves might have been trimmed down. In that process, you must have realized there are some that you don’t need anymore. Now you need to know the best places to donate old books! So, this is your ultimate guide on where to donate books in Boston.


Donation Type: Drop off
Jamaica Plain: 716 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
South End: 1407 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118
Hours: See Individual Location
Type of Books Not Accepted: Magazines, encyclopedias, periodicals
Donation Receipt: Yes
Website: Boomerangs

How to Donate

Bring your books to a Boomerangs drop off center. You can also have your donation collected for a fee by their partner company, ReSupply.

Boomerangs is a subsidiary organization of AIDS Action. The Boomerangs thrift shops fund the important work of AIDS Action, who are the leading provider of HIV prevention and wellness services in New England.

Prison Books

Donation Type: Drop off
Location: 1306 Hancock Street, Suite 100, Quincy, MA 02169
Hours: Tue & Thu 6:30-9pm; Wed & Sat 1:30-4pm;
Type of Books Accepted: See their top requests on their website
Type of Books Not Accepted: Hardcovers, encyclopedias, magazines, spiral bound books, books about conspiracy theories/disseminating information
Website: Prison Book Program

How to Donate

Visit the Prison Book Program during their volunteer hours above to drop off your books. Pleasingly, they’ll also accept self-published books as well as advanced reading/review copies. You can donate your books with the knowledge they’ll be going to educate and keep prisoners company.

where to donate books boston
A volunteer picks out a recommendation for a book request. Credit: Prison Books

Cradles to Crayons

Donation Type: Drop off, Book drive
Location: 281 Newtonville Avenue, Newton, MA 02460
Hours: 9am-5pm
Type of Books Accepted: This nonprofit is looking for books for children: board books, picture books, young adult books. They are currently in particular need of baby books for aged two and below.
Donation Receipt: Yes
Website: Cradles to Crayons

How to Donate

They encourage you to host a book drive and can provide you with help to collect all donated goods. Otherwise, they’re happy for you to drop off books in-store.

Cradles to Crayons distribute essential goods to disadvantaged children. It’s always important to bear the cause in mind when you’re deciding between the different places to donate books in Boston. 

Massachusetts General Hospital for Children

Donation Type: Drop off (in December!)
Locations: 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114
Hours: Check before donating
Type of Books Accepted: Board books, coloring books for teens, children’s books
Donation Receipt: No
Website: Mass General

How to Donate

‘Tis the season to consider Massachusetts General Hospital for Children for book donations in Boston. If you’re willing to save your books for the beginning of December, you can donate them to the hospital for the children to be given as a part of a festive gift while they’re receiving treatment. Check out their website for more information about what they can accept, as you may have some other things at home that would be really appreciated.

If you’re unsure about anything or have any questions, you can call (617) 643-1819 or email hpeach@mgh.harvard.edu.

More Than Words

Donation Types: Drop off, Pick up from you, Drop off in book bin
Location: 2nd Floor 242 East Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02118
Hours: Tue-Fri 10am-8pm; Sat-Sun 10am-6pm
Other Locations: Find all book bin locations here
Type of Books Not Accepted: Magazines, encyclopedias, textbooks older than 5 years
Website: MTW Youth

How to Donate

More Than Words makes donating easy – it’s a one-stop shop for your unwanted books and clothes. If you’re visiting one of their stores, simply pull up in one of their dedicated parking spots and leave your donation outside their door. They also have a number of donation container locations.

Support a great cause at the same time. More than 350 vulnerable young adults take part in the More Than Words programme each year, which offers them a paid job in the book-selling business, learning skills from customer service to managing inventory. They are supported throughout the six to twelve month process through focused feedback and workshops, among other methods.

Boston Public Library

Primary Location: 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116
Other Locations: Multiple
Hours: See Individual Location
Type of Books Accepted: Most!
Donation Receipt: Yes
Website: BPL

How to Donate

One of the best places to donate books in Boston: give your old books a new life, and support your local library at the same time. Drop off at the main branch any time, but be sure to call ahead if you’re gifting books to your local branch. 

If you only have one box or bag, you can leave it at the Borrower Services Desk at the Boylston Street Entrance of the Copley Square Branch. Just make sure that it is clearly marked as a donation. 

Other branches can accept donations, but you will need to contact them first. If you have more than one box or bag (and we mean a lot more!) you can contact their Collection Development Department via email collectiondevelopmemt@bpl.org or phone (617) 536-5400 x 5414 to discuss your donation.

Where To Donate Books in Boston: The Sparknotes

  • Boomerangs
  • Prison Book Program
  • Cradles to Crayons
  • Massachusetts General Hospital for Children
  • More Than Words
  • Boston Public Library

Now you know exactly where you can donate books in Boston. The only hard part will be choosing which organization to give them to!