Where to Donate Books in New Jersey

New Jersey certainly isn’t short of willing organizations who want to take your used books off your hands!

Here’s a comprehensive list, encompassing all nonprofits and libraries currently accepting book donations across the Garden State, with information on where and how to donate.


Bridge of Books Foundation

Donation Types: Drop off, Book drive
Location:
25 West Highland Avenue, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716
Hours: Check their Facebook page for monthly hours
Type of Books Accepted: Children’s books, learning books, baby books, parenting books
Type of Books Not Accepted: Books for grown-ups, textbooks, magazines, encyclopedias, coloring books, workbooks, interactive books with missing parts
Website: Bridge of Books Foundation

How to Donate

The drop off hours for Bridge of Books vary, but they will post their monthly hours on Facebook at the start of each month.

This foundation also encourages book drives, and their unique initiative called “Books for Birthdays” which encourages guests to bring a book for donation to a birthday party. They can assist you with invitations and collateral for book drives if you’re interested in helping this way.

Bridge of Books supports underserved children across New Jersey by delivering their donated books to places like family centers, youth organizations, and schools. 

Their Book Ark project sets up what are essentially children’s versions of Little Free Libraries at schools. They have famous supporters, too. Miss New Jersey 2022, Danielle Sammut, helped set up a Book Ark at Bradley Elementary!

donated books finding new homes in new jersey

Book Smiles

Donation Type: Book bin drop off, drop off
Primary Location:
7300 North Crescent Blvd, ​Unit 10, Pennsauken, NJ 08110
Opening Hours: 24/7 book bins; Mon-Fri 9-5, Sat 9-3 for larger drop offs
Other Locations: Find a drop off location here
Type of Books Accepted: All books for kids or adults
Website: Book Smiles

How to Donate

Book Smiles have over 20 locations for book bins in Philadelphia and New Jersey as far as Atlantic City. They have separate bins for kids and grown ups; just keep in mind they recommend 1-2 bags max so the bins don’t fill up too much. 

The Book Bins outside their warehouse in Pennsauken are open 24/7, but you’ll want to check the opening hours of the other locations throughout the state where book bins are situated.

You can also bring the books directly to their main location in Pennsauken and they’ll help you unload them. Any donations larger than 1-2 boxes should be taken here by default. 

For donations of over 2,000 books, contact Book Smiles directly to arrange an appointment.

True to their name, Book Smiles’ goal is to use books to create smiles. Not only do they donate directly to students, but they use their donations to populate classroom libraries in Philadelphia and New Jersey. As I recommended in my guide to Philadelphia book donations, if you’re a teacher, get in touch with them!


Books Behind Bars NJ

Donation Type: Scheduled drop off, Mail-in
Location:
Books Behind Bars, PO BOX 2611, Wildwood, NJ 08260
Hours: Contact them to arrange a drop off time
Type of Books Accepted: Art books, coloring books, true crime, paranormal, finance/investing books, small business books, yoga/exercise books, black history, fantasy, sci-fi, horror, National Geographics
Type of Books Not Accepted: Hardcover books of any type, old magazines, religious texts, computer books
Website: Books Behind Bars NJ

How to Donate

You can mail books into their PO Box address above, or email them to arrange a drop off time: info@booksbehindbarsnj.com

This New Jersey nonprofit serves the needs of incarcerated men and women who are looking to help improve themselves through the power of reading. They take book requests from prisoners and do their best to source relevant reading materials for them, that will pass the strict prison literature guidelines.

On guidelines, please, no hardcover or spiral bound books! These cannot be delivered to prisons.

donate books new jersey
Reading letters, sorting books: another day of rewarding work for the Books Behind Bars crew!

Friends of the Hamilton Public Library

Donation Type: Drop off in book bin
Location:
1 Justice Samuel A Alito Jr Way, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619
Hours: Mon-Thu 9am-8:30pm; Fri-Sat 9am-5pm
Type of Books Accepted: Any books in good condition
Type of Books Not Accepted: Magazines, encyclopedias, textbooks
Website: Hamilton Free Public Library Friends

How to Donate

Drop off your books in the blue bins on the side of the library.

Donated books will be sold at one of the many Friends’ book sales throughout the year, making this a great way for Hamilton township residents to support their local library.


Jersey City Free Books

Donation Type: Drop off (appointment)
Location:
297 Griffith St., Jersey City, NJ 07307
Type of Books Not Accepted: Encyclopedias, textbooks over 5 years old, mysteries, thrillers, romances, condensed books
Website: Jersey City Free Books

How to Donate

They take book donations by appointment, so please email them to arrange a time for drop off: JerseyCityFreeBooks@gmail.com

This nonprofit, run by Anthony Olszewksi for over a decade in Jersey City, provides free books to anyone who needs them in the community. 

Just across the river from the Big Apple, Jersey City Free Books are also a popular destination for those looking to donate books in NYC.


Little Silver Library

Donation Type: Drop off
Location:
484 Prospect Avenue, Little Silver, NJ 07739
Hours: Mon, Thu 10am-8pm; Tue 9am-5:30pm; Wed, Fri 10am-5:30pm; Sat 10am-1pm
Type of Books Not Accepted: Magazines, travel guides over 5 years old, technical books over 5 years old, dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks, Reader’s Digest
Website: Little Silver Library

How to Donate

Hand your books off to the librarian inside the library during opening hours. The Little Silver Library requests a maximum of two bags of books per visit.

They’ll accept books for all ages, just not the types listed above.

where to donate books in new jersey

New Legacy Books

Donation Type: Drop off in book bin
Locations:
See their website for all locations in Bergen, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties
Hours: 24/7 book drop
Type of Books Accepted: Textbooks, hardcover and paperback books
Type of Books Not Accepted: Magazines, encyclopedias
Website: New Legacy Books

How to Donate

These guys have a lot of book bins around the state! The best way to find one near you is checking their own excellent map, which I linked to above. We can assume due to their locations all their book bins are located outdoors and open for drops 24/7.

Books are redistributed to churches, nonprofits, and townships throughout New Jersey.


Elizabeth Public Library

Donation Type: Drop off
Location:
11 South Broad Street, Elizabeth New Jersey 07202
Hours:
By appointment
Type of Books Accepted: Local history books, yearbooks, maps, postcards, and documents related to Elizaebth, NJ
Website: Local History at the Elizabeth Public Library

How to Donate

This is quite a niche donation, but the library itself has not taken general book donations since COVID. This is an option if you have anything pertaining to the local history of Elizabeth that you want to be preserved in the special collections department of the library.

Make an appointment by contacting eplreference@elizpl.org or ringing them on 908 354-6060 ext. 7220.

Cover image credit: haddonfieldnj