Donating Books

Parent Q&A

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  • Ummm....

    May 27, 2024

    Some decades ago, I gave my husband a few books of erotica, with illustrations.  This is mild stuff, positive, cis, straight, no BD/SM, from Good Vibrations.  When we became parents, it all moved to the garage, where it now sits in a dusty box.

    Any suggestions about what to do with it?  Any of the obvious donation options would not seem to work.  (Put it into a free library near Berkeley High? Maybe not!)  I hate to just dump it all in the recycling bin.

    Lol.  If you're not burning, recycle!  

    I would drop them off at the big book bin at the El Cerrito recycling center.It is unlikely a teenager would be hanging out there and get them.There is a large selection of books there.

    You can try selling them at places like Moe's, Pegasus, Walden Pond Books. They're not shy. The Bay Area is a hub for erotic literature and our used bookstores reflect that. Of course, I can't guarantee they'll take them, but if so it won't be because of subject matter.

    The El Cerrito Recycling center takes books at its exchange center, where people leave what they no longer need and others take what they want. Looks like it's temporarily closed till July 1st but perhaps a few more months doesn't matter...

    May I suggest offering/gifting the books to friends of yours, or on a buy nothing group? 

    I think you should gift-wrap them and give them to your husband again!

    If you can DM me, I would love to give those to one of my portfolio companies - the founder/CEO has a service that helps women with sexual health issues, and erotica is a core part of their offering. 

    Reply now  »
  • My wife's parents recently passed away and left many books on a wide variety of subjects in their home. We have no room for additional ones so would like to donate them to worthy causes and we would be grateful for suggestions as to where they might be wanted. We know the public libraries do not want them and we surely do not them to end up in landfill. Thank you for your recommendations.

    The El Cerrito recycling center has a large area where you can drop off a lot of books.They are later put on shelves there for whoever wants to take them

    The El Cerrito Recycling Center has a book area in the Exchange Center where you can drop off books and people can pick them up to read. There are also bins for "donation" but these bins are owned by a company that is not truly non-profit or ethical. Hope this is helpful.

    Friends of the Oakland Public Library will take donations of books that can be sold at their store in Oakland.

    As it says on this webpage, email them if you have a large amount of books to dontate.

    Bookmark bookstore in Oakland! Supports the Oakland Public Library :)

    College Preparatory School, on Upper Broadway below Lake Temescal, accepts book donations any time for their annual book sale in late February.

    My strategy is to drive down into the front parking lot on a weekend afternoon, when there is minimum commotion from sports and other weekend activities, and find a place to pull over. The book collection area is on the veranda in front of the building to the left (southeast?) of the entry road. People can deposit boxes of donated books at the right end of the veranda.  classroom/office building.

    In wet weather it might be wise to cover the boxes with plastic sheeting.

    The book sale itself is wonderful - not the place to go if you are trying to own fewer books, but I always find great bargains on high quality titles.

     You can sell them to Half Price Books and they will take any that they will not give you money for. 

    Senior Centers like to have books donated to them.  Someone just donated multiple boxes of books to the San Ramon Senior Center.  There are Senior Centers closer to where you live that may want books.

    Have you tried Friends of the Berkeley Public Library?

    They accept donations for their used books stores.

    El Sobrante Library has a “Friends of” nonprofit that has great book sales to support the library. They take drop off donations inside the library. 

    The College Preparatory School, suggested in a previous response, is often better prepared to accept a large donation than many of the other places that have been mentioned. However, they now collect books on specific dates so you can't just drop them off at other times. The remaining drop-off dates this school year are January 18 and February 15 in advance of the big sale on February 24 and 25. If you have a large donation, they may be able to work with you on scheduling. You can contact the book fair committee at Bookfair at Or contact me, since I volunteer for the book fair and I can try to help make arrangements.

  • I am in the process of dismantling the estates of two family members with BIG personal libraries, probably a few thousand books total in two locations.  They range from fiction (mostly paperbacks) to academic (social sciences).  They have been picked over somewhat, so most of the truly valuable items are gone, but I'm sure there's still value there for someone who wants to go through them (not me). I have managed to donate or sell a few boxes here and there, but at this rate it will take years to clean them all out.   Any recommendations for places that would take books in bulk like this for resale or donation?  I would love to donate them e.g, for library book sales, but many libraries are already overwhelmed and aren't taking donations at this time.  

    Have you considered donating to the Prison Literacy Project?

    There are a couple drop off locations in Berkeley---they sort and send free books to prisoners. I only gave them three bags full, not sure if they have an upper limit but may be worth a shot? 

    Try to check with the local Friends of the Library. They may have capacity to take them or send you towards other local groups. 

    I went through this exact same thing with my aunts estate. I lived in Texas at the time, but had a used bookstore who paid me for the small amount they wanted and donated the rest for me. The hard part was lugging all the books there. Maybe you could check a local used book store who could help you. Have you already had an estate sale? If not, maybe do that first so people come to you and you don’t have as much to pack up

    Try calling Moe’s Books in Berkeley. When I was cleaning out my parents house they sent someone over to look over the extensive book collection. They bought a small fraction of the books. The vast majority were donated to Goodwill. It is very hard to sell and even donate books these days. 

    Contact Friends of the Library in Marin. They sell used books at stores in San Rafael and Novato (perhaps elsewhere). They may be willing to pick up the load, even across the Bay.

    There may be similar groups in the East Bay, call libraries near you and ask.

    Hi there, please consider donating them all to the Friends of the Oakland Public Library. They are the only nonprofit corporation dedicated to supporting all Oakland Public Libraries by selling donated books at their quality used bookstore in Old Oakland, called the Bookmark. They are located at 721 Washington St and open 7 days a week. Their phone number is 510-444-0473

    If it is a collection -- i.e. "Feminist Fiction from the 70s" or some other category, you might be able to donate it to an academic library. You could check with the librarians at the Bancroft Library. Miscellaneous books are hard to sell or donate, as others have said.

    It sounds like the original poster had already been in touch with Friends of local libraries and learned the sad truth – they have a surfeit of books for their bookstores, have gotten selective about what they accept, and aren’t about to take on thousands more, especially collections that have been picked over. You’d have to go through the effort of selecting the type of books they are interested in; it certainly won’t be all of them. Likewise, Prison Literacy Project is seeking specific types of books, and doesn’t want to be overwhelmed with a collection of irrelevant volumes. One place that hasn’t been mentioned is Oakland Museum’s White Elephant sale; you could call them to see if they are open to picking up your large collections. I suspect they will react similarly to libraries, but it might be worth a try.

    You could also try Treehorn Books in Santa Rosa (707) 596-3845 and ask them to put you in touch with the owner; he lives in Berkeley and could stop by to look at your collection. He took about $300 worth when I had to disburse a friend’s estate. The final and most effective way of getting the rest off our hands in bulk was to advertise them for free on Craigslist. A few photos helps, as does rough categorization (fiction, non-fiction - by type if possible).

    The Oakland Museum White Elephant Sale takes books.  Try contacting their website for donation procedures.

  • Hello,

    I am a native Italian speaker and over the years I have brought books in Italian language from Italy. Now I am trying to do a little spring cleaning and I am wondering where I could sell or donate these books. Are there any other Italians out there that have had experience with this? 

    Thank you!

    Ciao! We accept donations of books in Italian at Bambini Ciao in Oakland. We're actually going to ship books directly from Italy in the next couple of months because the library need to grow. Any help is very appreciated, if you send me a private message I can guide you through it.


    Put them on Craigslist, or take them to a used bookstore, advertise at UC Berkley languages department that you have free books for interested students of Italian. Li prenderei, pero ho gia` troppi libri!! Forse una o due... fammi sapere i titoli (email reikioflight@gmail,com). Buona Fortuna!!

    I don't have a general answer to this question, but I would be happy to take some of the books off of your hands! What kind of books are they? I'm especially interested in books for babies and very young children.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Donating Textbooks Donating Childrens' Books Donating Magazines Donating Other Books

Donating Textbooks

Where to donate physics books and journals

Dec 2011

My father is a retired professor in Connecticut. Now in his 80's, he has a large library of academic highly specialized physics and science books and journals that he really wants to see go to a good home. But who wants this stuff? The University he worked at does not. These are older books, and likely out-of-date journals. And my sense is he will only let go if they are indeed going to a good home. What to do? Any good websites that help with this sort of thing? If anyone has ideas, I'd love to hear it. artsy daughter of a brilliant semi-pack rat

Hi - I work in a university library and can tell you that you will have a hard time with this. You can take a look here,, but in general, out of date stuff is recycled. Also, most university science libraries are purchasing online, not print, versions of journals (and books too). A more meaningful gesture might be a donation of cash to a library esp. one that is especially hurting financially. Of course, if any of the books are ''classics'' they may be more donate-able. If you live near a university, see if someone in the physics or science library has additional info. Some libraries have bookstores where they sell donated stuff to raise a little cash. Good luck! library guy

Library of a community college ? Grad students at Cal ? Anon.

I dropped off similar types of books at the El Cerrito recycling center book exchange at the end of Schmidt Lane.When I went there the following day to drop off more books they were gone. I always see people waiting to see what gets dropped off and it seems like an intellectual group . You can also donate books to any of the local libraries which sell them for around a dollar each. This raises money for the library and someone will want his books. Ellen

When my Math Professor Dad was moving out of his home, I had a similar dilemma. There was a academic used book store in the college town where he lived and I took some of his books there. Turns out that one of his former students found them and was ecstatic to have my Dad's books - especially the ones with notes scribbled in them. Maybe there is an Alumni newsletter you could announce the book give-away in, or perhaps the Physics Dept has a Facebook page or could send out an email. I'm sure you'd make some of his old students happy to have their professor's books. monika

Check out a great organization called ''Books for Africa''. They send many many volumes of books every year to many countries in Africa. Books like physics are exactly what they want - they do not become outdated and are not ethnocentric to our culture. You send the books to Philadelphia, that is their clearinghouse, but if you send the US Post office book rate, it does not cost so much. It is a worthwhile cause. donor to Books for Africa

Text books/other books to donate

Jan 2009

Where can I donate text books and other books that I want to get rid of? The text books are ones for getting a teaching credential; assessing reading, language. Thanks!! downsizing in Lafayette

I found two places that accepted most of the textbooks I was trying to unload.

Better World Books:

Books for Barrios (they have a drop off center near Concord's Costco):

good luck! Stephanie

You can donate your books (and CDs and DVDs, for that matter) to the College Prep School annual book fair, which will be held March 7 and 8. The high school is in Oakland, near Lake Temescal, at 6100 Broadway, and the donation bins are under the gym balcony at the top left of the parking lot. I'm the book fair co-chair, and if you can't make it to the school, I might be able to come pick up the books, depending on where you are. We're taking donations from now until the fair starts. And if you're feeling bad about giving up your books, come to the fair and buy more! They're all great donations from an erudite community, and they're really cheap. The money goes to a good cause, too. Thanks. Linda

Place to Donate Old Textbooks?

May 2008

I am wondering if anyone knows anywhere where I can donate old textbooks too? I went to nursing school a few years back and have old textbooks on various areas of nursing, anatomy, and microbiology. Thanks beth

Moe's on College. They send them to prisons. Just bring them in a sturdy box and put them in their metal shed under the stairs in the front room to the left of the entrance. They will not accept more than will fit, so maybe give a call (510) 849-2087 and ask someone to physically check for you. Esp. if you have a lot and it would be a challenge to not unload when you arrive. Heather

Donating college textbooks

June 2006

I have decided it is time to get rid of my old college / grad school textbooks. I have probably 3-4 boxes of science/math/engineering books that were used 10 years ago. I doubt that donation places (like goodwill) would want such technical textbooks. I don't think I could sell them on ebay due to their age. I would like to avoid just putting them in the recycling bin...any ideas of where I might donate the books? Amy

Check out Books for the Barrios to donate old textbooks. It is a great organization and easy to donate. Here's the link: F2nd_Y.html Michelle

I donate mine to public libraries jp

I came across a blurb in the latest O Magazine about places to pass on your used textbooks:

International Book Project The organization collects an extensive array of basic subject textbooks for pre-kindergarten through graduate school levels, general library books, nursing and other specialized medical texts, as well as popular and technical journals, reference materials, and fiction. The organization's partners include primary and secondary schools, universities, libraries, hospitals, churches, orphanages, and Peace Corps volunteers around the world.

Books for Soldiers At this site, soliders, sailors, and merchant marines make requests in an online forum; you send books directly to the soliders. It's kind of like a book ebay site.

Hope your books find a good home Zaretta

June 2003

I'm finally parting with a bunch of textbooks that I've had since grad school--not sure why I've kept them this long except for sentimental reasons. It doesn't seem that a library would be interested in a donation of textbooks. Is there any organization that would accept/benefit from them? These are business school textbooks covering the usual topics: finance, accounting, marketing, economics, etc. Clarisse

You can donate them to the ''friends of the library'' association of your local branch. They won't put them on the shelves, but they will sell them at their booksales and the money does benefit the library.

Just a note regarding used textbooks. Someone recommended Friends of the Library taking them and using them at their sales. I am not sure where you live, but in Contra Costa County, Friends of the Library does not even want them. They specifically note that on their donation bins. It's tough to find someone who will take them. You might try Books for Barrios -- don't have the #, but I think that they will take them. Sorry I can't help more! Trish

Donating Childrens' Books

K-5 book exchange ideas?

Sept 2012

I'm a parent at a Berkeley public school and am looking for ideas on a great system to get free (used) books into the hands of every student, but especially those who do not have access to books at home. We currently have a ''Give a Book, Take a Book'' shelf that is in a hallway, but it empties out quickly when we get donations. We'd like to have a system where the community can donate their used books, and students can access them, periodically or on an ongoing basis. But a ''book for a book'' exchange system won't work, because the kids who NEED books can't bring one in to exchange... Please share book-sharing/distribution ideas that have worked at your schools! Thanks. heidi

Contact the East Bay Children's Book Project They are also a great place to donate books.

How to sort through large collection of kids' books

Feb 2010

My parents saved ALL my books from my childhood (and many from their own). I have gone through the whole collection and taken what I want for my own children, and have a large box of leftovers falling into 3 catagories: 1. Books that others could definitely use: These are in good used condition, or in a couple cases brand new (duplicates). 2. Books that need to be disposed of: I am ashamed to say that I have some books that are would now be considered racist or sexist. What exactly can be done with them though? Should I just put them in the trash? 3. Vintage books that might be worth something: How does one go about finding the value of an older children's book? Grown-up Bookworm

You can donate your books, or you can sell them. Donation spots include Children's Hospital (since you said they were kid books) and various local shelters, but the public library also often takes donations. If you're going to sell them, I'd suggest going down to Moe's on Telegraph as a first stop.

Don't be ashamed of having books that aren't PC anymore! A lot of those older books, like the older Disney cartoons with Mickey Mouse, are still a lot of fun (and often valuable). Kathleen

There will be a large used book Fair at the College Preparatory School in Oakland on March 6-7, from 10-4 on Saturday and 10-1 on Sunday. We accept donations of all sorts of books, and donations are tax-deductible. The proceeds of the sale primarily support our scholarship fund, and any books that we don't sell are donated right after the fair to local charities that can use them. Donations can be dropped off at the school, 6100 Broadway, Oakland, or we may be able to make other arrangements if that's not convenient.

My son's school, Cleveland Elementary, is accepting donations of gently used books for a book sale and would happily take some of your books. We are near Lake Merritt in Oakland at 745 Cleveland St. Thanks!

1. You can donate books to the public library's bookstore (The Friends Bookstore)'s over near UC Berkeley, off Telegraph. They take everything, and resell the books at very low prices.

2. Outdated, sexist books--recycle with your paper recycling

3. Vintage books--try reselling at Pendragon or Pegasus. You can check value online at eBay or other online booksellers. heidileeross

The books that are in good condition can always be donated to your local library. Other books that are not can be dropped off at the El Cerrito Recycling Center at the end of Schmidt Lane where there are bookcases set up for a free book exchange. Volunteers seem to go through periodically and purge some for recycling.

Also, there is a storefront on San Pablo Ave. between Moeser Ln. and Waldo St. in El Cerrito called FreeBookExchange. They are open only on Sat and Sun and you can drop off and pick up books there at no cost. They have a website. Book lover

1) Use to give away books. Take them to the El Cerrito recycling center book exchange. Take them to the book exchange on San Pablo just south of Moeser Ln.

2) Recycle those books in the paper bin. freecycler

I love it is a great way to keep all books in circulation. fullhuis

1. library booksale (in Oakland: drop off at Dimond Branch library) 2. paper recycle bin 3. (then, if any of yours are selling for $$$ on bookfinder, call around to bay area book dealers to see who will sell them for you) (or give valuable ones to the Friends of the Oakland Library bookstore click on Bookmark Bookstore) -Oakland bookperson

For your ''books that others could use,'' please consider donating them to the Friends of the Library. They will re-sell them, others get to enjoy them at bargain prices, all profits benefit the library, and you can write off the donation if you like.

Wait! Before you recycle the ''sexist, racist outdated'' books, consider donating them to the The East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse Many artists might really appreciate them in order to do pieces on commentary of how things have changed (or haven't). Sometimes the artwork is still worthwhile even if the message isn't - there are a LOT of fans of old style illustrations and the unsung illustrators who did the work (evidence on Flickr Or simply place an ad on Craigslist offering them for free. Hope it's not too late! LOVE Retro Books!

You can also check in with your local public school library, and ask them if they know of librarians in other schools that may not be as fortunate. The schools in some neighborhoods are happy to give books to their students, who may not have access to books at home. THey probably would not be interested in the old, racist-type books, but any others that are still good for kids would be appreciated. Ask your school librarian or principal for a good suggestion. I just dropped off a couple boxes of good books at a school off Hegenberger in Oakland, and the librarian, principal and parent coordinator (who reads with the kids) were all very excited and gracious about it, which was rewarding to me as I knew the books were going to a good place and woudl be appreciated by the kids.

I'd also second the Friends of the Library suggestions if a school (or book sale) doesn't work out. But I will say it was more rewarding to know that my books were more of a direct donation. Janet

Another option for your books is The Bay Area Free Book Exchange located at 10520 San Pablo Avenue. They accept and GIVE AWAY books for free. It's not necessary to donate books in order to take books. The Exchange is open on weekends, I think from 9:00-6:00. a

Where to donate children's books?

Sept 2009

Hello - I am looking for places to donate children's books that my son no longer uses - He is currently in Kindergarten. If you know of a place where they collect children's books and then distribute them to those in need, please let me know. Thanks! Want to help children in need of books

The pediatrics department at both Kaiser Richmond and Kaiser Pinole would love to have your books for the waiting rooms (and kids are allowed to take one home if they want). Call them for info on drop off hours. --love to share books

Consider your local public school (pre-school or elementary)for gently used children's books. School libraries sometimes can use donated books to augment the collection and/or use donations for fundraisers or sometimes have a ''take one, leave one'' shelf for families (with the leave one not a requirement to take). Classroom teachers also LOVE to have gently used books for their classroom reading nooks/shelves (for kids who have finished their work early, for self-directed reading, or group story time, etc). Also sometimes teachers give out ''like new'' books as a reward for behavior achievements (perfect attendance, always raised hand, 100% homework completion, etc.). Karen H.

The East Bay Children's Book Project is a fantastic organization that gives books to children in need to increase literacy rates. They are located near Grand/Lake: Ruth

Donate them to your son's teacher, or to the local library for a book sale. The Albany library always takes book donations.

The East Bay Children's Book Project located at 2008 Park Blvd. in Oakland takes new and gently used children's books and gives them to any professional who works with children in need. The donated books are given to teachers, social workers and pediatricians. Check out the website for more information Ann

two suggestions:

1. Children's Hospital Oakland has a book cart for kids. If a child likes a particular book, they are welcome to take it home.

2. Ursula Sherman Village (aka Harrison House), on Harrison Street in Berkeley (just north of Gilman) has programs for homeless families - both long-term transitional housing and short-term emergency housing. They have many young children, and would probably love to receive donations of children's books. For more info: R.K.

East Bay Children's Book Project: Great program that we make use of in the low-income clinic where I work. Books go to clinics, schools, and other organizations that serve poor kids. Last I checked they had a donation bag at Piedmont Grocery on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. grateful pediatrician

Have the perfect place for you!

This is a GREAT organization!!

I work in a pediatric clinic and we collect books for our waiting and exam rooms from here. If you happen to live in San Leandro and don't want to travel too far, we would also love to take any donations! Would save me a trip to the Children's Book Project!

Bancroft Pediatric Medical Group (510) 483-2600


My kids' elementary school in Moraga often donates books and organizes working field trips to the Books for the Barrios organization. I believe most of their work is with the poor in the Philippines. It seems like a great organization:

A great place to donate children's books is The Children's Book Project I'm not sure if they currently have a drop-off site in the East Bay, but you can find out by calling 415 401 6315. It may even be possible to arrange for pick up.

Where to donate Books & magazines for kids

Sept 2006

Thank you so much to everyone wh0 contacted me and donated items to Books for the Barrios - I was overwhelmed by the response! And if I didn't connect with you I'm very sorry, I received so many emails I had trouble keeping track!

If anyone is interested in donating the following items to Books for the Barrios, check out their website for information, they are located in Concord:
* Games and Puzzles * Toys, Stuffed Animals and Tennis Balls * Athletic Equipment * Crayons, Pencils and Scissors * Clean Scrap Paper * Children's Storybooks * National Geographic Magazines * Encyclopedias and Dictionaries * Computers (Pentium III, or IV in working condition only) * Monitors ($20 Donation Fee) * Little Girls Dresses
thanks to all! nancy

Donating Magazines

Magazine drop-off place (donating, not recycling)

August 2011

Is there a place I can drop my already-read, fairly current magazines for others to take? I've always brought our magazines to the North Berkeley library's magazine exchange, but now that they are closed for renovation, our magazines are piling up! I know they can be recycled, but I'd rather give them away if possible. R.K.

I do the same thing... I also collect from my dad's magazine subscriptions and my neighbors subscriptions and once every couple of weeks, I rotate taking them to the VA (in Martinez and in SF), Kaiser hospital, and about 3 nursing homes that I drive by on my errands. For the latter, it sometimes is just the pretty pictures that bring a smile to their face. busy bee

I have noticed in recent years that at all of the various doctor's offices (at Kaiser, Oakland) they no longer have any good magazines. They used to, so I'm not sure what changed. I would LOVE it if you would take the time to distribute your interesting magazines to the various offices in the various Kaiser buildings. The only hitch I can think of (besides you finding the time for that! is that Kaiser might toss them. We'd need to find out if their lack-of-mags is a cost-cutting measure on their part (no more subscriptions?) or just streamlining (or maybe a germ issue?). If they're open to it, I know their clients would very much appreciate it. The current lack-of-good-mags has me bringing my own- which is tricky to remember to do! Thanks! Magazine Reader! =o)

The El Cerrito Recycling on Schmidt Lane above Richmond Ave has an area for books and magazines where they can be recycled by people who would like to read them. cocosar

Most hospitals incl Kaiser medical offices will take magazines for their waiting rooms. You can drop them off at the info desk at the entrance. Recycling info

I've heard that the Oakland Zoo takes magazines to use for chimpanzee enrichment. Seriously. I guess they like looking at the pictures. Probably not what you had in mind, but a worthy cause. Carrie

I usually take my semi-current leftover trashy magazines by either my doctor's office, or one of the local Quest laboratories. Any place with a waiting room can benefit from something a little more interesting to read!

The downtown Berkeley Y can always use some new magazines in the workout rooms. The New Yorker is a good magazine, but not what I want to read when I'm bouncing up and down on the stair climber. I bet (though I don't know for sure) that even if you're not a member they'd let you drop off magazines at the front desk. Reading fluffy magazines is the best part of working out

The laundromat- people would really appreciate it. Anon.

I live in El Cerrito and have donated to & taken from their magazine bin near the front door. I don't know how many you have, but perhaps you could call them and see what their limit is. They may also know of other libraries that take magazines......good luck anon

There's a bin in the lobby of the Rockridge library. That's where I leave mine, and they seem to go pretty fast. A Rockridge mom

I have brought magazines to the local jail, especially the one with a women's branch. I have removed the ''smellies'' (the lotions, perfumes, etc. samplers) and of course my address labels, but other than that I just drop them off at the front desk. If this idea interests you, you may want to call your county's Sheriff's office first to check on any security issues they may present. I got the idea when I visited the local branch for a class and saw an inmate reading The New Yorker. The magazines offer something new and current for inmates, and are a good way to stay connected with the outside world. anon

I drop off my old Harpers and New Yorkers at Kaiser Hospital at the info desk in the lobby. carol

Donating National Geographic magazines

Dec 2009

Does anyone know who might want a donation of a complete set of National Geographic Magazines spanning over 40 years (from 1966 to the present)? My dad recently passed away, and my mom would like to give the collection to someone who will appreciate it (if there is any such person/group in this digital age). - Kat

I'm not sure you're going to like this suggestion, because you may be wanting to pass the magazines onto a collector or someone who would keep the magazines in tact, as they belonged to your father and collected over many years. But as a public school teacher, and parent, I know National Geographic magazines are wonderful resources for classroom projects. However, that entails the magazines getting all cut up and pasted into a child's new creation! If you and your mother are okay with that, I'm sure your local school - actually, maybe several schools, as it sounds like you have so many magazines - would appreciate them. Oakland Teacher/Berkeley Parent

I'd call SCRAP: 801 Toland St San Francisco, CA 94124-1313 (415) 647-1746

you could also call:

East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse 4695 Telegraph Avenue (@47th Street) Oakland, CA 94609 510.547.6470 Open daily, 11am-6pm LK

What to do with old Rolling Stone magazines?

Oct 2009

What to do with a stack of Rolling Stone magazines from five to six years ago or so? Some feature retrospectives, best 100-ever lists, etc. Are they of any value to anyone? I can't imagine they're hard to get hold of, but maybe there are collectors who hoard -- sorry, I meant, collect -- them? Or should I just toss them in the recycling bin? Rabid recycler

If you don't find someone who wants them on freecycle, here, or Craigslist, or just want to drop them somewhere, you can bring them to El Cerrito Recycling Center where they can be put on bookshelves in the book exchange section, or in the catalog/ magazine recycle bin where people sometimes ''dive in'' and take magazines of interest. Also Center for Creative Re-use in Oakland might take them. Chris

You bet someone would LOVE your magazines! Please try It's helped me get rid of all sorts of stuff that was still useable. The idea is to reuse as much stuff before eventually hopefully recycling it or trashing it. Hope it works as well for you as it has for me! Christina

I bet you could find a taker using anon

Donating old magazines

June 2004

We have a box of old (average about 1-2 years old) magazines that range the gamut from New Yorker, to Climbing, to Self, and Fit Pregnancy, etc. Since most of the articles aren't super time-sensitive, it seems a shame to toss these all into our recycling can. Does anyone know of a good place to donate them? I imagine hospitals, government aid waiting rooms, even places that want English texts to teach English might have some use for them. Sarah

There is a great magazine exchange rack at the North Berkeley branch library. People leave their magazines, and can take others if they like. It's on a big baker's type rack near the door. anne

Donating Other Books

Donating a box of books and games

Nov 2007

I have a box of books, games/puzzles (not children's) that I would like to donate. Looking for suggestions on maybe a women's shelter or ? Thank you. Carol

You could mail them to soldiers stuck in Iraq or Afghanistan. Check out Find the name and address of a soldier. Get one of those standard $8.00 boxes at the post office (you don't pay for it intil you actually mail it). Fill out the address and customs form according to specific and good directions on the web site and send it off. Some soldiers would be glad to get new reading materials and puzzles and any of the other items listed on user

Recycling Books

June 2007

FYI, For ''Drowning in books posting'' and/or anyone clearing off their book shelves-- the Children's Book Project is a WONDERFUL resource...they take books ages infant-18years old and they then sort and distribute them for you...they go to daycares, preschools, school libraries, etc. If you have a lot of books, they'll even pick them up for you. We just donated several boxes and they were so pleasant and appreciative. For more information, you can see their website: A book-loving mom

For the person trying to reuse/recycle books: try the local libray and then if that doesn't work, El Cerrito recycling center takes books, magazines, cell phones, eye glasses, clean plastic grocery and newspaper wraping bags, plus a full complement of the ''reguar recyclables'', and there is a Goodwill donation station there. The prority is reuse and then recycling. You can get more info at Heather

Where to donate/recycle books and magazines

July 2004

Hi, I have tons of books and magazines to get rid of. I didn't know if there is a place I can recycle these old magazines and books. Does anyone know? moving soon

A couple of suggestions: 1. If your magazines are no more than one year old, you can leave them at the magazine exchange at the North Berkeley Library (Hopkins at the Alameda).

2. If the magazines and books may be of interest to older folks, ask the folks at your nearby senior center if they might like to have them.

3. Books in decent condition can be donated to libraries, usually through their ''Friends of...'' organization. In most cases, the books are them offered for sale at the library's fund-raising book sales.

4. Children's and teen books in good condition can be donated to Children's hospital. R.K.

You can take old books to Friends of the Library book store on Durant Ave, just below Telegraph. Call Main Library to find out details. Maybe they take magazines also. You can also take some books to individual branch libraries where they sell them for $1.00 or so. anon

Want to donate a few crates of books

April 2003

Any suggestions for where I might donate used books? I have a few small crates I'd like to get rid of (not sell) and I am hoping someone can use them for charitable purposes. Liz O.

Do you have some used books to donate to a worthy cause? I am seeking used book donations for Crowded Fire Theater Company. We sell the books through, Ebay, and local booksellers to raise money for our nonprofit theater program. For directions and more information, please visit our web site: If you have any questions, or for other ways to donate books, please contact me: mitchellATcrowdedfireDOTorg Thank you! Mitchell

I recommend the Friends of the Berkeley Library -- , located underneath the Sather Gate garage southside of campus. You can bring in your donation any time it's open, and they'll validate your parking. Just park in the garage, take the elevator down, and you're right there. They'll give you a tax receipt, too. I just donated three bags of books (making room for babies!), and they are very grateful and nice there. Wendy

A few ideas: With public school libraries severely underfunded, they may want some of your books. Bananas (on Claremont near Telegragh) accepts donations of books that child-care providers can take. I don't know if it is still there, but Cody's had a drop-off bin to donate books to a charity. You don't have to buy the books there to donate them. Senior Centers often accept donations of books for their clients. Every public library in this area accepts donations that they will either keep or sell at their fund-raising book sales. El Cerrito Recycling Center has a free book exchange. R.K.

Most libraries take book donations. They give you a receipt for tax deduction purposes, and then sell the books at their Friends of the Library sales to raise money for the branch. Claire

Berkeley public library.

Try the Berkeley Public Library's Friends of the Library shop-- they are located on the ground floor of the Channing Street garage. Also, a fabulous place to buy LOTS of inexpensive and wonderful books! Saskia

We donated some books to the Berkeley Public Library. I believe the group Friends of the Library maintains a little store to the right when you enter the front door.

Moe's book shop on Telegraph also collects books that go to prison libraries. Susan Persin

You might consider giving them to your local library. I know the BPL has a regular book sale, at which they sell used and deaccessioned books as part of their fundraising. Oakland PL may do the same. Wendy

Friends of the oakland Public library. On washington between 7th & 8th, in old oakland. They sell donated books to help fund the oakland library.

The El Cerrito Library, a branch of the Contra Costa County Libraries, accepts book donations. They sell them at fund-raising sales to benefit the library. The same is probably true for every library... -- a reader and library patron

Selling or donating French literature paperbacks

July 2002

I'm considering selling or donating my collection of French literature paperbacks (left over from my college days). Any suggestions? Elysse

Hello Elysse, I teach French at San Domenico School and I don't have a lot of French litterature available for my students to read during their free time. Which books do you have and how many??? I would be interested to take them! Isabelle

Elysse- I collect books that I dirstribute for free in economically- challenged areas of the East Bay. If you'd like to dontate your books, I'll pick them up. Send email to Thanks! Elaine Connolly, Hey, Read This!