Have you recently cleared out your cupboards and shelves and realized just how many books you’re keeping and not loving? If you’re from Houston and need to find a home for those old books, then this is the guide for you!

We’ve compiled a list of no fewer that ten organizations, many of which do great work in the Houston community, so you can donate books knowing you’ll directly be having an impact in your city.

Books Between Kids

Donation Type: Drop off, drop off in book bin
Primary Location: 9947 Harwin Dr. Suite B & C, Houston, TX 77036
Hours: Schedule a drop off here
Other Book Bin Locations:
Michael’s Cookie Jar (West University Location)
Palace Social (4191 Bellaire Blv., Suite 150, 77025)
Elizabeth Cole (9000 Hempstead Rd., Suite 266, 77008)
Website: Books Between Kids

How to Donate

Books they are accepting:

  • Children’s story books
  • Chapter books
  • Spanish or dual language books

They cannot accept books that are:

  • Yellowed or discolored
  • Coloring books, sticker books, puzzle books
  • Inappropriate for children
  • Religious
  • Filled with excess writing

Large amounts of books should be dropped off at the Books Between Kids warehouse. Please note, the warehouse is only open a few days a week so you should schedule the drop off in advance. They have book bin drop off locations at a number of local businesses in the Houston area (listed above.)

books from donations in houston to books between kids
Credit: @booksbetweenkids

Why We Love Books Between Kids

Books Between Kids take a novel approach to book donations, encouraging children with more to donate to children with less. This makes the process of donating more special, and not just a throwaway process where grown-ups are giving away old books.

Started by elementary school teachers Amy and Sandra, the organization uses all donated books in their “free book fairs” as well as other programs, where under-served children are able to come along and choose 6 free books to take home and keep. A wonderful initiative!

Houston Public Library

Donation Type: Drop off
Primary Location: Book Warehouse, 6510 West Little York Road, Houston, Texas 77040
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10am – 4pm.
Other Locations: See all their locations by searching for “Houston” on our Book Donation Map
Website: Houston Library Foundation

How to Donate

Drop your donation box (2 or less) to your nearest HPL branch. If you have larger donations, their primary book warehouse location will take them.

Houston Public Library accepts:

  • Hard and paperback books in good condition
  • School textbooks
  • Antique and rare books
  • CDs and DVDs
  • Apple products
  • Trade manuals

They do not accept:

  • Law books
  • Damaged books 
  • Magazines
  • Encyclopedias from 2011 or older
houston book donations
Heights Neighborhood Library // Credit: Patrick Feller

Why We Love the Houston Library Foundation

Their “Community Reads” program awards 100 books each month to a local charitable organization. So, your donated books will go to fund library programs as well as be redistributed throughout the Houston community, putting books in the hands of children, and indeed adults, who may not have access to them otherwise.

Books for Development

Donation Types: Drop off, Pick up from you
Location: 3709 Polk St., Houston, TX 77003
Hours: Saturdays 9am-12pm
Type of Books Accepted: Children’s books, general fiction and non-fiction (paperback and hardcover), National Geographics, dictionaries, encyclopedias
Type of Books Not Accepted: Magazines, outdated self-help/how-to books, cookbooks, books about American politics/culture
Website: Books for Development

How to Donate

Their downtown warehouse takes donations on Saturdays.

For very large donations, they offer a pick up service. You’ll need to contact them to arrange this.

Why We Love Books for Development

Books for Development have made a massive difference in developing nations, through not only donating books, but helping to build libraries and educate librarians. Their work has seen them empower communities across Africa and South America, and they also support local literacy causes in Houston.

Overall, they’ve donated over 1.5 million books, built over 500 libraries worldwide, and trained hundreds of librarians too.

They are also a rare organization that WILL take encyclopedias!

books for development houston
Books for Development busy preparing books for a library in Uganda! Credit: @booksfordevelopment

Center for Hearing and Speech

Donation Type: Drop off
Location: 3636 West Dallas, Houston, TX 77019
Website: Texas Hearing

How to Donate

All book donations can be delivered directly to the center’s librarian, Layne Mason at the address above. Donated children’s books will be used in their pediatric clinic or preschool centers.

If you’re feeling generous, each book that is featured on their Amazon wish list has been specifically selected to aid the needs of their students.

Star of Hope Mission

Donation Type: Drop off
Location: 2320 Lamar St, Houston, TX 77003
Hours: Monday–Friday, 8am-6pm 
Website: Star of Hope Mission

How to Donate

Stars of Hope are a more general charity that do great work for homeless people in the Houston area. They accept any book donations including bibles and religious material as well as more general books and children’s books via drop off at their primary donation warehouse (address above.)

Rotary Books for the World

Donation Type: Drop off (arrange first)
Location: Main St, Pasadena, TX 77506
Website: Rotary Books for the World

How to Donate

This is probably going to be a suitable option if you are a rotary club member, as it isn’t abundantly clear how you can drop off books. 

However, this is a great cause from Houston area rotary clubs, that’s extended beyond Houston in recent years to other clubs around the USA. They work with rotary clubs in South Africa to send books to impoverished children there.

Charity Guild of Catholic Women Consignment Shop

Donation Type: Drop off
Location: 1203 Lovett Boulevard, Houston, TX 77006
Hours: Wed-Sat 10am-3pm
Website: Charity Guild of Catholic Women

How to Donate

Simply take any used books in good condition to their storefront on Lovett Boulevard. This organization provides items ranging from clothes to books for underprivileged children in the Houston area.

Stores Where You Can Trade/Exchange Books in Houston

The below would be good options if you have books you think may be valuable and you wish to get a little something in return for them:

  • Kaboom Books (3116 Houston Av., Houston, TX 77009)
  • Katy Budget Books (870 Mason Rd #101, Katy, TX 77450)
  • The Book Attic (310 E Main St, Tomball, TX 77375)

Harbor Ministries

Donation Type: Pick up from you
Website: Harbor Ministries

How to Donate

A great way to donate books in Houston without having to leave your house! Harbor Ministries will pick up books from you in the central and greater Houston areas – just contact them to arrange a time.

Harbor Ministries offer free substance abuse rehabilitation programs and rely heavily on their thrift stores to fund their life-changing programs. This is a great way to help a noble cause that provides assistance to people who really need it.

Et voila! Hopefully this guide of the best places to donate books in Houston has encouraged you to donate the books that have been unloved gathering dust for all this time.