If you’re looking to donate books in Cambridge, you’ll find a nice collection of innovative nonprofits, libraries, and bookstores that are going to be more than happy to accept them!

This list lays out types of organizations in the following order:

  • Charities/nonprofits
  • Libraries
  • Bookstores

Each one of these organization types has their own specific guidelines for donations, it’s simply up to you to decide who you want to give your books to, and if you want to exchange them for credit or simply support a local nonprofit!

More Than Words

Donation Types: Drop off, Pick up from you, Drop off in book bin
Primary Location: 147 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
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

There are a multitude of book bins around the Cambridge and greater Boston area to drop your books off in. You can stop by the More Than Words store on East Berkeley, or, if you’re pressed for time, simply arrange a pick up slot where they’ll come and collect your books from you via their website.

Why We Love More Than Words

This is a charity with a novel model: they empower youths aged 16-24 by giving them a paid job in their business, thus giving them exposure to professional life and the chance to learn important skills for their future. These are mostly homeless children or those in foster care. 

If you’re also looking for places to donate books in Boston, More Than Words sells donated books as well as other items at their primary Boston location on East Berkeley St., the proceeds of which go to funding their work.

cambridge books that were donated now being shipped out
A More Than Words helper arranging books to be sent out. Credit: More Than Words

Solutions at Work

Donation Type: Drop off
Location: 1151 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
Hours: Tues-Thu 10am-3pm
Type of Books Accepted: Children’s books, young adult books and parenting books in good condition
Website: Solutions At Work

How to Donate

Solutions at Work have their headquarters in the basement of the Old Cambridge Baptist Church. They recommend calling them on 617-576-0039 extension 1 before you come so they can send someone out to help you.

Why We Love Solutions at Work

Their goal is to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty in the Greater Boston area. As well as allowing families to come to their clothing and book exchange several times per month, Solutions at Work also serves adults by providing them clothes and family resources to help give them a leg up.

Boomerangs

Donation Type: Drop off, Pick up from you, Drop off in book bin
Location: 563 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm
Type of Books Not Accepted: Magazines, encyclopedias, periodicals
Website: Boomerangs

How to Donate

They accept drop offs at their Cambridge location above. You can also use their location finder to search more convenient locations in the Boston area.

Why We Love Boomerangs

Boomerangs are a prominent AIDS charity in Boston and the surrounding area. Another charity featured on our Boston list, their Cambridge branch is happy to receive books for donation, that they will in turn sell at their thrift stores.

Graham & Parks School Library

Donation Type: Drop off, Mail 
Location: 44 Linnaean Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Type of Books Accepted: Books relevant for a K-5 school. Hardcover is preferred.
Website: Graham and Parks Library

How to Donate

This is a great way to help out a local school. You can either mail your books to the library friends at the above address, or drop them off at the Family Coordinator’s Office.

cambridge public library
Cambridge Public Library. Credit: Brett Wharton

Cambridge Public Library

Donation Type: Drop off
Primary Location: 449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138
Hours: Mon-Thu 9am-9pm; Fri-Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 1-5pm
Other Locations: 11 other locations, see their page here
Type of Books Accepted: Hardcover books that are currently on the Boston Globe or NYT Bestseller lists, as well as local books (hardcover, again)
Website: Check out their policy here

How to Donate

If you have books on hand that meet their donation guidelines, bring them to any local library branch. The Library doesn’t currently offer donation receipts.

Bryn Mawr Bookstore

Donation Type: Drop off
Location: 373 Huron Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
Hours: Thu-Fri 12-7pm; Sat 12-5pm
Type of Books Accepted: Advanced math and science textbooks, hardcovers and paperbacks, old school/antique travel books, book accessories like bookends 
Website: Bryn Mawr Bookstore

How to Donate

This is a good option if you feel you have some books of value, as Bryn Mawr will buy books in good condition from you, so long as they meet the stipulations of “types of books accepted” above. It’s not easy to find places to exchange textbooks, even if they do only take math and science ones!

The Book Oasis

Donation Type: Drop off
Location: 311 Main Street, Stoneham, MA 02180
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5:30pm; Sat 10am-6pm
Type of Books Not Accepted: Hardcover fiction books, dictionaries/encyclopedias more than a few years old, magazines, Reader’s Digest editions
Website: Read their trade policy here

How to Donate

This charming local bookstore in Stoneham accepts used books in good condition in exchange for a store credit. They’re currently only accepting two boxes/bags per visit. Make sure to read their trade policy above!

Raven Used Books

Donation Type: Drop off
Location: 23 Church Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA 02138
Hours: Call to schedule
Type of Books Accepted: University Presses, poetry, contemporary fiction
Website: Raven Cambridge

How to Donate

Raven can be a great place if you have specialist books, poetry, and fiction books. Call ahead to schedule an appointment with one of their trained book buyers. Their number is: 617-441-6999

Quite an exhaustive list when it comes to where to donate books in Cambridge, right? The variety of places that accept used books is particularly pleasing to see, so I’m sure you can find a spot that best suits your donation needs!