Have you reached that chapter in your life where you’re looking to give away your used books?

Well, if you’re in the twin cities region, we’ve got you covered. Here, we run through where to donate books in Minneapolis, covering a variety of charitable organizations, libraries, and used bookstores for all different types of book donations.

Books for Africa

Donation Type: Drop off
Location: 717 Prior Ave. N, Suite B, St. Paul, MN 55104
Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-3pm
Type of Books Accepted: Children’s books, bibles, textbooks/dictionaries/medical books published in the last 10 years, school and office supplies
Type of Books Not Accepted: Encyclopedias, magazines, American history books, music books, cookbooks
Website: Books for Africa

How to Donate

Bring your gently used books to the Books for Africa warehouse at the address above. Generally, any kids’ books are welcome. Note that if you want to donate bibles, you should put the book/s in a separate box and mark “religious texts.”

Why We Love Books for Africa

Through their Minneapolis and Atlanta branches, Books for Africa collect gently used books and ship them to incredibly in-need libraries throughout Africa.

Founder Tom Warth started this thing way back in 1988 after visiting Uganda and being surprised by how few books the children there had access to. He came back to Minnesota and devised a plan to collect discarded books from schools, libraries and publishers and now Books for Africa send thousands of books each year to many different countries on the African continent: a great cause!

Women’s Prison Book Project

Donation Type: Mail
Location: 3751 17th Ave S, Minneapolis MN 55407
Type of Books Accepted: Mysteries, romance, fantasy, horror, true crime, craft/art books, DIY books, dictionaries, health topics, alcohol/drug recovery books, LGBTQ topics
Website: WPBP

How to Donate

When I first came across the WPBP, they had an in-store donation bin at a local bookshop, but now they are purely a mail-in service. Use the address above to mail your books.

donate books in minneapolis
Thank you notes from the WPBP

Why We Love the Women’s Prison Book Project

Incarcerated women often don’t have great access to books, particularly books that can help them learn and grow. WPBP provides women in prisons all around the country with free reading materials.

They receive bundles of letters requesting books, and the ones listed above are the topics they are asked about the most. It’s a great cause and one can only imagine their joy when these women receive their books!

Reach Out and Read Minneapolis

Donation Type: Drop off
Location: 3800 American Blvd West, Suite 1500 – 8013, Bloomington, MN 55431
Hours: Arrange a drop off time at their website below
Type of Books Accepted: Children’s books
Type of Books Not Accepted: Books about religion/religious themes, violent books
Website: Reach Out and Read MN

How to Donate

At the link above, there’s a form to fill out regarding your donation. Once you’ve sent this off, they’ll reach out to you to arrange a drop off time at their Bloomington address.

donate books in minneapolis
A healthcare professional stacks her car with books for the program

Why We Love Reach Out and Read

They partner with doctors and clinics around Minnesota to promote reading as a building block for a child’s brain and imagination, when they go for their doctor’s visit. A friendly book can make these visits much more agreeable for a child, and the doctors who participate will talk to the child about the book and really try to engage them and importantly, their family, in reading. 

Simply put, Reach Out and Read believe “books build better brains!”

Numbers don’t lie! Thanks to the help of donated books, over 170,000 children are impacted by Reach Out and Read’s book programs, with over 300,000 books donated annually and over 300 clinics participating throughout Minnesota.

Friends of the Hennepin County Library

Donation Type: Drop off
Primary Location: Central Library, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Hours: Mon-Thu 9-8; Fri-Sat 9-5; Sun 12-5
Other Locations: See all Hennepin County Library locations here
Website: Support HCLIB

How to Donate

Donations are always welcomed at the Central Library branch, but you may want to reach out to your nearest branch to confirm the Friends accept donations there.

The easiest way to see which branches will be accepting books is to take a look at the updated list of upcoming book sales at the link above. There is no shortage of book sales taking place, making the Hennepin County Library system a useful resource for anyone looking to donate used books around Minneapolis.

Friends of the Ramsey County Libraries

Donation Type: Drop off
Primary Location: 4560 North Victoria Street, Shoreview, MN 55126
Hours: Vary by branch
Other Locations: Mounds View, Roseville, White Bear
Type of Books Accepted: Children’s books, young adult books, fiction/non-fiction, “coffee table” books, foreign language books
Type of Books Not Accepted: Magazines, encyclopedias, textbooks, manuals/reference books more than 5 years old
Website: RCL Friends

How to Donate

Bring your books to your local branch. Just be sure you don’t bring more than two grocery bags’ worth of books.

book donations minneapolis
The Friends doing the hard yards!

Why We Love the Ramsey County Libraries

The Friends run three bookstores and two “book carts” at different Ramsey County Library branches. Your donations are vital to keeping these libraries and their awesome programs running!

Washington County Libraries

Donation Type: Drop off
Locations: See all locations on our Book Donation Map
Hours: Vary by branch
Type of Books Accepted: Hardcovers, paperbacks
Type of Books Not Accepted: Magazines, textbooks
Website: Wash Co. Lib Donations & Book Sales

How to Donate

Contact your local branch to see what they’re currently accepting and their hours for drop offs. Book sale proceeds support collections and programming for all Washington County Libraries.

Paperback Exchange

Donation Type: Trade/exchange
Location: 2227 W 50th St, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-6pm
Type of Books Accepted: Anything in good condition
Website: Paperback Exchange

How to Donate

Trade your books in at this popular bookstore for a store credit. You’ll get 70% off used books and 25% off new books with your credit.

The Book House in Dinkytown

Donation Type: Trade/exchange
Location: 1316 4th St SE UNIT 201, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Hours: Mon-Fri 10-8; Sat 11-8; Sun 11-6
Type of Books Accepted: Textbooks, classics, literary fiction
Type of Books Not Accepted: Outdated textbooks, magazines, romance, encyclopedia sets post-1920
Website: Book House Dinkytown

How to Donate

This is a great option if you’re looking to turn in some textbooks or rarer books for an appraisal. Textbooks are notoriously hard to donate, but The Book House is probably your best bet for this in the twin cities.

There you have it! A thorough “read-through” of all the best places to donate a variety of different kinds of books in Minneapolis. 

The only hard part now will be choosing where you go. Remember: keep your literature local!