A love of reading can be a space-filling love, indeed. If you find your shelves overflowing with titles you no longer need, or if you’re simply clearing out old kids’ books, then these are all the best places to donate your gently used books in and around Nashville.

Read on to see all the locations, which types of books they do, and don’t accept, and how to donate!

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

Book ‘Em

Donation Type: Drop off (schedule a time)
Location: 161 Rains Ave., Nashville, TN 37203
Hours: Mon, Wed, Thu 9:30am-4:30pm; Tues 12:30-4:30pm
Type of Books Accepted: Books for children ages 0-18
Type of Books Not Accepted: Magazines, library books, textbooks, encyclopedias
Website: Book ‘Em

How to Donate

Book ‘Em request that you schedule a donation using their calendar on their website.

They have a particular need for books in the preschool to sixth grade age range, but also accept young adult books.

The organization also encourages you to host book drives at your school or business, and can provide you with the resources to make this a success if you’re interested in helping in this way!

Book ‘Em have distributed books to over a million children in Nashville since their inception in 1989. Their programs like the Black Book Project focus particularly on getting books in the hands of kids from minority backgrounds who generally have less access to reading materials. The volunteers at this charity certainly recognize the need to instill a love of reading in children from a young age.

nashville book donations
A volunteer prepping a whole load of books for Book ‘Em

Tennessee Prison Books Project

Donation Type: Drop off (schedule a time)
Location: 901 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37202
Type of Books Accepted: True crime, health/fitness, business books, mass market fiction and non-fiction, self-help books (addiction, legal, vocational), religious texts, African American literature, dictionaries, thesauruses, Spanish language books, children’s books, young adult books
Type of Books Not Accepted: Hardcover books
Website: TN Prison Books Project

How to Donate

This organization collects and mails books to prisoners. They have a personalized touch, often receiving specific requests from prisoners in the above book categories, and do their best to fulfill these requests.

The main thing to remember is that you can only donate paperbacks, as prisons don’t allow hardcover books. 

In order to arrange a drop off time, please email: TNPrisonBooksProject@protonmail.com

The TN Prison Books Project helps incarcerated people take a step to better themselves by connecting them with books. Prison libraries don’t offer much sadly, so organizations like this are vital. Drop your books off, and they’ll coordinate the delivery to prisons around Tennessee.

Nashville Public Library

Donation Type: Drop off
Primary Location: 615 Church Street, Nashville, TN 37219
Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm; Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 2-5pm
Other Locations: 20 other locations around Nashville
Type of Books Not Accepted: Newspapers, magazines, textbooks, Reader’s Digest
Website: Nashville Public Library

How to Donate

Small donations of books are welcomed by all Nashville Public Library branches. For the nearest branch near you, you can view our awesome book donation map and select “Nashville” on the drop down.

The Library is pretty liberal in terms of the types of books they take. Just bear in mind, if you have a larger donation of more than one box full of books, please get in touch with the library beforehand.

nashville public library interior
Downtown library. Credit: Drew Beamer

Places to Exchange Books

  • Defunct Books (rare editions) – 1108 Woodland St A, Nashville, TN 37206
  • McKay Books Nashville – 636 Old Hickory Blvd, Nashville, TN 37209

Honorable Mention: Ride for Reading (no longer active)

This was a great cause in Nashville that eventually expanded to more than 20 cities nationwide. 

The program distributed books via bicycle to kids from low income areas who didn’t have access to them, and simultaneously promoted reading and healthy living! The program shut down in 2022, and will be sorely missed.

Well, we knew Nashville is famous for its music and general party-party atmosphere, but who knew there were so many great places to donate books there, too! It’s particularly great to see children’s reading valued so highly by a number of the organizations working in the Nashville community.

It joins the other famous cities from the volunteer state such as Memphis and Chattanooga in our comprehensive coverage of Tennessee book donations. We are proud to cover all the awesome places to donate your books in these towns.