Options abound if you’re looking to donate books in Portland, and here we focus on the literacy nonprofits and libraries, as well as some wonderful local children’s initiatives, that will accept books.

Based on our research, it’s fair to say that Portland can stake a claim to be called the book donation capital of the country, and we’ve got all the information you need on where to donate, opening hours, and types of books the organizations will (and won’t) accept.

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


The Children’s Book Bank

Donation Type: Drop off, Pick up from you, Drop off in book bin, Trade/exchange
Location:
1915 NE 7th Avenue, Portland, OR 97212
Hours: Mon-Thu 9am-5pm
Type of Books Accepted: Board books, picture books, alphabet books, general children’s books
Type of Books Not Accepted: Currently no chapter books, grown up books, magazines, coloring books, encyclopedias, textbooks, books for high school readers
Website: Smart Reading

How to Donate

Drop your children’s books at their location during opening hours, or email them if you wish to drop off outside these hours: bbrock@smartreading.org

Donated books are distributed to schools, clinics, and literacy initiatives throughout Portland.

donate books portland
The ‘A Story Like Mine’ area at the Children’s Book Bank looks amazing!

The Clackamas Bookshelf

Donation Types: Drop off, Drop off in book bin
If 6 or fewer bags of books:
Book Bin @ Les Schwab Tire Center, 10602 SE Highway 212, Clackamas, OR 97015
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-6pm; Sat 8am-5pm
If more than 6 bags of books: Kraxberger Middle School, 17777 Webster Road, Gladstone, OR 97027
Type of Books Accepted: Children’s books, mass market fiction and non-fiction, classics, cookbooks
Type of Books Not Accepted: Magazines, dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks older than 10 years
Website: The Clackamas Bookshelf

How to Donate

The Clackamas Bookshelf has a drop box at the Les Schwab tire center. 

Alternatively, you can drop off books during one of their sale dates at Kraxberger Middle School. Check their link here for the next sale date. They ask that you fill out a form before dropping off this way, so they know to expect you.

In Clackamas County, 48% of third graders are not reading at a third grade level. This nonprofit works to get books in the hands of low income students and families to help lessen this number, and since 2014 they’ve donated over 170,000 books.


The Book Corner, Beaverton

Donation Types: Drop off, Drop off in book bin
Location:
12470 SW 5th St, Beaverton, OR 97005
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10am-4pm at the back door; book bin is open 24/7
Type of Books Accepted: Any books in good condition
Type of Books Not Accepted: Magazines
Website: Book Corner Beaverton

How to Donate

Use the book bin for 24/7 access, or drop off during opening hours. FYI, The Book Corner won’t be able to provide a tax receipt if you use the book bin.

They really aren’t picky about what they accept, which makes this a great place to donate a variety of different books such as comic books and niche subject books.

book corner portland

Friends of the Oregon Public Library

Donation Type: Drop off
Location:
814 7th St, Oregon City, OR 97045
Hours: By appointment
Type of Books Not Accepted: Romance novels, religious books, encyclopedias, magazines, textbooks, Readers Digest, Time-Life, medical/technical books over 5 years old
Website: OC Library Friends

How to Donate

As the Friends request donations are by appointment only, you’ll need to call them at 03-594-0261 on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday from 10 am till 2 pm to arrange a drop off time. 

Tax receipts are available upon request.

Some fully stacked shelves by the Oregon County Library Friends
Some fully stacked shelves by the Oregon County Library Friends!

The Booktique – Friends of the Lake Oswego Public Library

Donation Type: Drop off
Primary Location:
4 Monroe Parkway Suite D. Lake Oswego, OR 97035
Other Location: 380 A Ave., Ste. B Lake Oswego, OR 97034
Type of Books Accepted: Any books in good condition
Type of Books Not Accepted: Magazines, encyclopedias, textbooks
Website: The Booktique

How to Donate

The Booktique is the shop of the Lake Oswego Library Friends, and all proceeds from books they sell support awesome library programs such as summer reading, and the popular Music in the Stacks.


Portland Fire and Rescue Toy & Joy Makers Initiative (holiday season)

Donation Type: Drop off in book bin
Locations:
See all participating Portland Fire Stations here
Hours: 24/7 book drop
Type of Books Accepted: Children’s books and/or toys
Website: Toy n’ Joy Makers

How to Donate

This is a great initiative by the Portland Fire & Rescue service that’s been running since 1914… they collect toys (including books) at all fire station branches during the holiday season then the firefighters will distribute several toys to each child as part of their outreach efforts.

The initiative focuses on giving kids who’ve lost toys due to fires, floods, or any other disaster throughout the year some happiness over the holidays.


Friends of the Multnomah County Library

Donation Type: Currently not accepting donations
Website: Friends of the Multnomah County Library

How to Donate

This county library has 21 branches that used to accept donations, so although they’re currently not taking any, it would be prudent to re-check their website systematically (so will I) to see if this changes in future.


If you’re looking to trade or exchange books, there are also plenty of options in Portland such as Jan’s Paperbacks or Broadway Books, and of course, the world famous Powell’s! 

This list looks exclusively at those organizations who accept donations, but do let me know if there are any I’ve missed!

Cover image credit: The Book Corner