If you’re looking to donate books in Oakland, you have options! Here, we give you all the information on a literacy nonprofit, local library friends branches, as well as bookstores where you can exchange books if that’s more your style.

If you find yourself heading across the bay regularly, you may want to take a look at our guide on where to donate books in San Francisco if it’s easier to do so if you’re there for work, or anything like that. 

There are a bunch of great organizations doing excellent work to support literacy in the East Bay area however, and we’ll run through exactly how to donate and what you can donate in this guide to donating books in Oakland.

East Bay Children’s Book Project

Donation Type: Drop off, Drop off in book bin
Location: 2501 Harrison St., Oakland, CA 94617
Hours: Tuesday & Thursday 3.30-6PM
Type of Books Accepted: Children’s books
Website: East Bay Children’s Book Project 

How to Donate

Their distribution site is located at the above address, and is also open on the first Saturday of each month from 10AM-1PM. An important point to note is that children aren’t actually allowed to come into their site due to regulations.

Why We Love the East Bay Children’s Book Project

Their goal is to bridge the literacy gap that exists among many children in the Bay Area. To do so, they allow teachers, social workers, and anyone working with kids in their profession, to browse their distribution center and pick out books specifically for children they work with. 

It’s a lovely personalized approach to book charity, and the East Bay Children’s Book Project have now donated over 2 million books since their story began in 2005.

teachers and youth workers browse donated books
Teachers and social workers browse books to help their children // Credit: EBCBP

The Bookmark (Friends of the Oakland Public Library)

Donation Type: Drop off
Primary Location: 721 Washington Street, Oakland, CA 94607
Hours: Wed-Sun 11am-4pm
Type of Books Not Accepted: Encyclopedias, old library books, Reader’s Digest/National Geographic etc.
Website: Bookmark Bookstore

How to Donate

The Bookmark is an utterly charming library friends bookstore run by the Oakland Public Library Friends. You can bring your used books in during opening hours and they’ll happily take them off your hands. They generally limit donations to 3 boxes/bags per drop off to avoid stock piling up.

Why We Love the Bookmark

As far as library bookstores go, this one is pretty darn cool. Their shelves seem to go on forever (they’ve got over 17,000 books!) and patrons can sit outside the shopfront and read their new finds. And of course, all book sale proceeds go to the Oakland Public Library.

where to donate books oakland
Credit: Bookmark Bookstore

Spectator Books

Donation Type: Trade/exchange
Location: 4163 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611
Hours: 11am-8pm daily
Type of Books Not Accepted: Magazines, encyclopedias, condensed books, old library books, LPs, CDs
Website: Spectator Books

How to Donate

Spectator Books will give you a store credit for books of value. Spectator ask that you make an appointment so they can set aside some time to sit down and value your books. They limit donations to two grocery bags of books per visit.

Pegasus Books

Donation Type: Trade/exchange
Location: 5560 College Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618
Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-6:30pm; Sun 10am-5pm
Type of Books Accepted: Trade paperbacks and hardcovers, collections
Website: See their selling guidelines here

How to Donate

If you’re looking to get a little something in exchange for your books, Pegasus is another useful bookstore to keep in mind. Just bring your books in and they’ll value them, either giving you money in exchange or a blue slip that acts as a “store credit.” They have several locations in Berkeley, too.

Friends of the Orinda Library

Donation Type: Drop off
Location: 26 Orinda Way, Orinda, CA 94563
Hours: Mon-Sat 1-4pm; Thu 1-6pm
Type of Books Accepted: Any kind of gently used books
Website: Friends Bookshop

How to Donate

Inside the Orinda Library’s parking garage there’s a door that says “book donations.” Drop your books off in that room.

Why We Love the Orinda Friends

They take any kind of book! Which, actually, is quite rare for a library. 

What they’ll do is sell the books at a fair price in their bookshop, and use proceeds to fund cool programs such as their annual writing contest and library mural project. Libraries are super important, and this is a great example of your donation going right back into the local Orinda community!

The Orinda branch is one of many Contra Costa County Library ones we chose to feature. For a full list of branches that accept book donations in Oakland, and surrounding areas such as Mt Diablo, Moraga, and more, you can view their individual locations here.