If you find your shelves in need of a clearout,  and you’re looking for places to donate books in Madison, look no further!

There are some organizations doing great work in Madison who could greatly benefit your gently used books, and we’ve listed them all here.

Note: We prioritize organizations that dedicate time and resources to aiding literacy in their local communities.

Madison Reading Project

Donation Type: Drop off (appointment)
Location: 8030 Excelsior Drive, Suite 306, Madison, WI 53717
Type of Books Accepted: Baby books, children’s books for kids up to 12 years of age
Type of Books Not Accepted: Encyclopedias, coloring/sticker books, magazines, textbooks, puzzle books, outdated books, religious books
Website: Madison Reading Project

How to Donate

Schedule your appointment to drop off your books at the link here.

Why We Love the Madison Reading Project

Their legendary Book Bus is a beacon of hope for kids who don’t have access to books at home. Their bus travels around Madison, hosting free book fairs, as well as browsing sessions for teachers and educators in the local area.

They’ve donated over 1 million, yes, a million books since their inception in 2013. S/o to founder Rowan Childs and the volunteers for their desire to increase literacy levels in the community.

book fair madison wi
A Back to School Book Fair by the Madison Reading Project < Image Credit


Donation Type: Drop off (appointment)
Location: 6501 Watts Road, Suite 217, Madison, WI 53719
Type of Books Accepted: Children’s books from pre-k to age 12
Website: REACH-A-Child

How to Donate

Executive Director Curtis Fuszard requests that you email him to arrange a time to drop off your gently used books at their above address. You can get in touch with him at: curt.fuszard@reachachild.org

Why We Love REACH-A-Child

This nonprofit has a really unique MO: they equip first responders with book bags, known as their “REACH Bags” and when the first responder comes across a child in distress, they take them to a safe spot (usually their vehicle) and ask the child to select a book to read. 

This helps distract and calm children down in times of stress, and is a really great example of a charity using books to heal and make a positive impact in an otherwise stressful situation.

The Book Deal

Donation Types: Pick up from you, Trade/exchange
Location: 3822 Mineral Point Road, Madison, WI
Type of Books Accepted: Any books in good condition
Website: The Book Deal

How to Donate

The Book Deal offer a rare book pick up service, which is something to take advantage of if you have boxes upon boxes of books. The pick up is free; just contact the guys to arrange a time.

Otherwise, you can bring your books into the store to exchange for a store credit.

Why We Love The Book Deal

They’re a used bookstore with a difference: they aim to foster a love of reading in the community and offer local children access to free books (5 per child.) 

They visit schools and host their own events to do this, and it’s fantastic to see a used book store that gives back to the community.

book donations madison wi
Owners of the Book Deal celebrate a year in business // Credit: @thebookdeal

Wisconsin Books to Prisoners

Donation Type: Drop off in book bin
Location #1: A Room of One’s Own – 2717 Atwood Ave, Madison, WI 53704
Location #2: Social Justice Center – 1202 Williamson St #1, Madison, WI 53707
Type of Books Accepted: Thesauruses, almanacs, educational books, all types of fiction, Spanish books
Type of Books Accepted: Hardcover books, textbooks pre-2018
Website: Wisconsin Books to Prisoners

How to Donate

While there is a list of books that would be particularly appreciated on the link above, any paperback book donation is welcome. Bear the cause in mind when you’re going through your bookshelves – the Department of Corrections policy means that they can only accept paperbacks in good condition, which are free from any highlighting, underlining, or marks.

Why We Love Wisconsin Books to Prisoners

Headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin Books to Prisoners mails books to incarcerated adults, in an incredibly noble effort to increase their literacy skills and give them a foot up for when they leave prison. The program attempts to meet prisoner requests wherever they can, but any book will be welcomed, as long as it’s a paperback.

Wisconsin Books to Prisoners do great work statewide, and are also featured as part of our guide on where to donate books in Milwaukee.

wisconsin prison book donation requests
A heartfelt example of a letter received by WI Books to Prisoners < Image Credit

Frugal Muse Books

Donation Type: Trade/exchange
Primary Location: 6682 Odana Rd, Madison, WI 53719
Other Location: 235 Junction Road, Prairie Towne Center, Madison, WI 53717
Type of Books Accepted: Books that can be resold
Website: Frugal Muse

How to Donate

Frugal Muse Books is a good option if you’re looking to get some cash or a store credit for your used books. Head in to see what your books could be worth. They will either pay in cash, or give you a higher store credit to replenish your shelves.

Wow, quite a list! It’s awesome to see so many charitable causes in Madison. You can be sure that wherever you choose to donate your books, they’ll go to help the community and you’ll be giving to a good cause.