You’ve turned to the right page if you’re looking to donate books in New York City!

This is a truly local list of all the organizations throughout the city that accept gently used book donations. Here, we give you the details on how to donate, where, and what types of books each place will, or won’t, take.

Heads up – check out our Brooklyn-specific guide if you’re looking to donate books in Brooklyn.

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

The Book Fairies

Donation Types: Drop off in book bin, Mail, Pick up from you (Long Island & Eastern Queens)
Primary Location: 70 N Main St, Freeport, NY 11520
Hours: Main book bin is 24/7, other locations may vary
Other Locations: 12 other locations in East NYC/Long Island. See their handy map on their website for all book bin locations
Type of Books Accepted: Children’s books, baby books, fiction/non-fiction, activity books, comic books, cookbooks and textbooks up to 10 years old
Type of Books Not Accepted: Magazines, self-published books, encyclopedias, religious/faith books
Website: The Book Fairies

How to Donate

The Book Fairies have a number of ways for you to easily donate your books. Their main warehouse has a 24/7 book bin for smaller drop-offs. If you have more than 25 books, you’ll need to make an appointment to drop them off at their main warehouse.

They have book drop bins at local businesses throughout Long Island. And, if you have a particularly large order (5 full boxes of books) they will gladly pick these up from you if you’re located in Long Island or Eastern Queens.

Why We Love The Book Fairies

Where to start? They run so many awesome programs both in NYC and internationally, it’s hard to keep track of them all!

As well as stocking “public libraries” in stations, parks, and other public places, they distribute donated books to schools and caregivers in their local community, as well as sending books to severely in-need schools in countries like Sierra Leone and Ghana.

When I initially launched the Book Donation Map of America, I spoke with one of the founders of Book Fairies and I can confirm they are genuinely lovely people who care about bridging the literacy gap, both in New York and around the world!

donated books being handed to teachers in new york city
A Book Fairies teacher book distribution initiative. That’s a lot of books for educators!

New York Public Library – St. Agnes Branch

Donation Type: Drop off
Location: 444 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY
Hours: Arrange a time to drop off
Type of Books Accepted: Any gently used books in paperback or hardcover
Type of Books Not Accepted: Magazines, encyclopedias, journals
Facebook: St. Agnes Book Sale

How to Donate

Email the organizers of the St. Agnes book sale to arrange a time to drop off your books:

Why We Love the St. Agnes Book Sale

All profits from the sale of your donated books go straight into the New York Public Library system.

It’s unclear if other branches offer sales – the St. Agnes branch appears to be the most active and well-known book sale.

The Book Cellar (Webster Library Friends)

Donation Type: Drop off
Location: 1465 York Ave, New York, NY 10075
Hours: Tue-Thu 12-5pm; Sat 11am-4pm
Type of Books Accepted: Children’s books, classics, religious books, comics/graphic novels, nonfiction books less than 20 years old, fiction books less than 10 years old
Type of Books Not Accepted: Magazines, textbooks, foreign language books, travel/computer/health/business books more than 5 years old
Website: The Book Cellar NYC

How to Donate

Simply drop off your books during their opening hours listed above.

Why We Love The Book Cellar

It’s run by the Friends of the Webster Library, and they’re a happy bunch! 

The shop has great reviews from locals and, again, you can donate books knowing that profits will be put straight back into the Webster Library.

donate books nyc
Holiday magic raising funds for the Webster Library!

Reading Reflections

Donation Types: Drop off, Pick up from you
Locations: New York City, Woodbury Long Island, and Stony Brook Long Island (contact them for exact drop off locations)
Type of Books Accepted: Children’s books, young adult books
Website: Reading Reflections

How to Donate

Visit their website link above, and at the bottom of a page is a form to fill out for book drop offs. Choose from New York City, or their two Long Island locations.

If you have a larger amount of books, please email Reading Reflections to schedule a pick up:

Why We Love Reading Reflections

Reading Reflections started as a project to create a local school library in Guyana, giving kids access to English books that they could only dream about.

The program grew so much that, today, Reading Reflections distributes children’s books to in-need organizations, schools, and social workers both overseas and throughout New York.

Reach Out and Read NYC

Donation Type: Pick up from you
Type of Books Accepted: Baby books, children’s books
Website: Reach Out and Read NYC

How to Donate

Fill out this online form with your address information to schedule a pick up time and date.

Why We Love Reach Out and Read

This charity leads a nationwide effort to introduce books to children when they see their pediatrician.

The participating doctors encourage the whole family to take part in ‘story time’, and donated books are also given to siblings who have to wait during the appointment. Reading is healing, as we say!

Room to Grow (South Bronx)

Donation Type: Drop off, Mail, Pick up from you (charge)
South Bronx Family Center: 424 East 147th Street, Floor 5, Bronx, NY 10455
Type of Books Accepted: Baby books, toddler books, board books, picture books, foreign baby/children’s books
Website: Room to Grow

How to Donate

Fill out their easy-to-use scheduling form at the above address to book a slot to drop your books off at their Bronx location.

They offer a pick up service in NYC, however there is a $100 charge for this.

Alternatively, you can mail your books into this address:

Room to Grow, Attn: Site Operations
424 East 147th Street, Floor 5
Bronx, NY 10455

Why We Love Room to Grow

This charity provides personalized support and household items for low-income families who have children to support.

Their focus on improving children’s reading skills and overall happiness is commendable, and this is a particularly great cause to donate any old children’s or baby books to.

room to grow reading
A wonderful in-person reading by children’s author Alyssa Reynoso-Morris at Room to Grow

Housing Works Bookstore

Donation Type: Drop off, Pick up from you
Location: 126 Crosby St, New York, NY 10012
Hours: 11am-8pm every day
Type of Books Not Accepted: Textbooks, magazines, encyclopedias, computer books, dated annuals or yearbooks
Website: Housing Works Bookstore

How to Donate

The bookstore is open 7 days a week for drop offs. Sweet! They request no more than 2 full bags/boxes of books.

You can also apply for a scheduled pick up if you have more books than this.

Why We Love Housing Works

They have a number of thrift shops, and this wonderful bookstore, around New York and their goal as a charity is to work to prevent AIDs and homelessness in the city.

They provide housing and healthcare for at-risk individuals throughout New York.

Word Up Community Bookstore

Donation Type: Drop off
Location: 2113 Amsterdam Avenue (at 165th St.), New York, NY 10032
Hours: Tue-Fri 1-5pm; Sat 12-4pm
Type of Books Accepted: Fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, Spanish books, essays, plays, memoirs, graphic novels/comics, art
Type of Books Not Accepted: Magazines, textbooks, encyclopedias, computer books, outdated self-help/improvement books over 2 years old
Website: Word Up Books

How to Donate

Word Up aren’t currently accepting book donations due to a lack of storage space, but keep an eye out on this awesome community-run bookstore for when this changes.

Strand Books

Donation Type: Trade/exchange
Primary Location: 828 Broadway at 12th Street, New York, NY 10003
Hours: 7-9pm
Other Location: 450 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024
Type of Books Accepted: Books worth buying
Type of Books Not Accepted: Children’s books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, magazines, Time-Life books, textbooks
Website: Strand Books

How to Donate

Strand Books recommend bringing 40 or less books per evaluation. They’ll make you an offer in cash, or give you a store credit worth 50% more.

This is a great option if you’re looking to sell books in New York City, as you can either get some pocket money or some fresh titles to line those shelves.

strand bookstore nyc

Books Through Bars

Donation Type: Drop off
Location: 123 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Type of Books Accepted: Paperback books, National Geographics, dictionaries, thesauruses, “how to” books, self-help, art books, some Spanish books
Type of Books Not Accepted: Hardcover books, computer books, children’s books, encyclopedias, outdated books, religious texts
Website: Books Through Bars NYC

How to Donate

I know this is a Brooklyn one that I’m already covering in that guide, but this is a great cause so thought I’d mention it here too. The Books Through Bars book drop off is located at Freebird Books at the above address.

They recommend emailing before you drop off, so they can arrange a time for someone to accept the books from you:

Prisoners can’t receive hardcover books, FYI!

Why We Love Books Through Bars NYC

Bonded by a resentment for the lack of quality reading material for inmates in America, Books Through Bars operate as a means for prisoners to access books that can help them genuinely improve themselves.

The organization does this by taking letters from incarcerated men and women, and matching their requests for books with the donated books they’re given. Once they’ve sorted and packaged the books, they will then mail these off to the prisoners.

Note that their selection of books they require may vary, so we advise checking their site for up to date lists.

nyc book donations
A Book Fairies collection of beautiful donated children’s books

There’s your complete guide to finding a local spot to donate books near you in NYC! 

What impresses me the most is the number of organizations here that offer pick up services, which can be really handy in a city the size of the Big Apple!