Please Don’t Donate these Books

Is it ok to donate books to the library? Every reader has times when their bookcases fill up and they wonder where to donate their books.

donate books to library

In life, it comes a time when all of your favourite books are piled up, or unused.

Would you want to spread your thoughts through books that are now unused to you in order to bring a little happiness to others?

As readers, we have all come to the inevitable moment in our life where there is just no more place on our shelves for any more books.

It is crucial to realize that before gifting or donating a book, you must make a thoughtful choice of books that you believe would suit the recipient or the library you are sending it to.

Perhaps, due to cultural variations, attempt to omit any books with a primarily religious, political, sexual, or magical focus.

A quick note;

Prior to considering book donations, it is important to be aware of some specific library guidelines.

With the caveat that the library is free to decide whether to preserve the book in its collection, sell it to generate revenue for the library, or discard it.

Furthermore, it’s important to understand that not all secondhand books may be sold or donated.

Even though it’s time to get rid of certain books, individuals continue to donate improper literature, and you can still see people unloading bags of books.

Why? I believe that some people’s belief that discarding books is sacrilege and the idea that they are holy repositories of information are both contributing factors.

Or perhaps it’s just that once most people decide to get rid of their books, they want to do it as fast as possible, and it’s much simpler to just throw everything in a box and drop it off at a particular place.

The bruising reality is that there are certain books that are better off going in the garbage or the recycle bin.

Because you could just trash them yourself, passing them on gives a lot of workload to the people in charge of the libraries especially when these books are not useful anymore.

At worst, this may cause more desirable library materials to get damaged and result in the overcrowding of your local library with books that nobody wants to read.

Books You Should Never Donate to the Library

Below are certain books you should never donate.

Dirty or Torn Books

Please follow this advice: do not donate books that are actually in horrible condition, as much as you would desire to get rid of your bookcases.

Dirty books that have been gathering dust in your garage or attic for years should not be donated.

Avoid sharing books that have mould on them because mould spreads and might endanger finer, more sought-after books.

There will be no one who benefits from a book if the spine is irreparably shattered, the pages are loose, it has water damage, or it is crumpled.

Create a craft project out of it if there are components that can be saved to make you feel as though you used it for something worthwhile.

No matter how painful it is, recycle it or toss it away.

The kindest thing you could do if you want to see a book read again is to fix it yourself before giving it to someone else because many people won’t take the time to fix spoilt books or books that are been damaged.

Outdated or Old Textbooks

The kindest thing you could do if you want to see a book read again is to fix it yourself before giving it to someone else because many people won’t take the time.

We do offer a tutorial on how to repair books. But if it can’t be fixed, nobody will pick it up in the first place.

Please do not simply dump your used textbooks at any library.

If your textbook has any monetary worth, you can try to resale it to the nearby university bookshops, which are likely to carry it for subsequent semesters, or you can try to sell it online.

If you are unable to sell it for money, look into locations that take textbook contributions.

Please discard any outdated textbooks if you can’t locate a location that would take contributions from them.

The demand for textbooks now may be quite different from what it was years ago, with a lot more emphasis being placed on texts that can be modified and that vary from semester to semester and online access credentials.

It’s possible that it won’t be very valuable.

The majority of libraries have a policy of instantly discarding any old used textbooks that were dropped off at their doors without inspection, which also implies that old textbooks aren’t important to libraries.

There are still helpful textbooks that are more likely to be liked by a variety of readers.

But even those occasionally release newer editions, further rendering the older ones useless.

At the very least, if you feel that a book could be valuable and you must donate it, kindly inquire before dropping it off.

Books Containing Racist or Problematic Contents

Please prevent the dissemination of information if a book contains anything that might purposefully injure any members of a minority community.

Or, in the majority of situations, you may be the first to read certain particular books that you believe are harmful to others to read and might lead to a change in one’s beliefs or the corruption of one’s mind.

Before they fall into the wrong hands, you might be able to get rid of such books.

The same is true if you discover books that are not needed in the library; do not return them since, if they are not suitable for your personal collection, why should they be suitable for the larger community?

This may not be the same as when you wish to get rid of a book written by someone whose opinions have been exposed as destructive or who has harmed a minority population, but maybe their work doesn’t necessarily represent that.

In such cases using your best judgment in that situation is all I can suggest.

However, it’s no new thing that Rowling is anti-trans and Alexie and Dashner are well-known sexual predators, many fans continue to greedily consume their works.

It is up to you to decide whether you would choose to donate vs. discard these authors’ books.

A Note on ARCS

Advanced Review Copies, or ARCs, are a rather perplexing thing.

For the simple reason that the ARC is not the “final” edition of the book, the majority of publishers would advise you to recycle or destroy it when a book is released.

Many people who work in the publishing industry keep their advance reader copies (ARCs) long after the book has been published.

They aren’t for sale, and ARCs shouldn’t ever be added to a library’s circulation.

ARCs are used by publishers as a marketing strategy; they are printed at no expense to the publisher and sent without charge to writers.

That’s not the case with secondhand books, where the publisher and author at least benefited monetarily from the original sale.

It is, in my opinion, OK to lend ARCs to other readers if they are in excellent shape and there are no obvious mistakes, such as missing pages or material that has been significantly changed between the ARC and the final printed version. Simply pay attention to their direction.  

Outdated Guides and Abridged Editions

It’s safe to assume that nobody else still needs it if you no longer need it.

Any books that discuss technology, unless they are fresh new, are most likely to be discarded since they are outdated.

The same is true for outdated reference books, calendars, and trip guides.

But this could still include some useful information.

Maybe, but instead of being donated, such books should be recycled if you can’t give them to someone who is specifically seeking anything in those pages.

The same is true with abridged versions, notably those well-known hardback Readers Digest Editions, which often contained three or four shortened novels in a single edition.

Abridged books are just not in high demand these days, and the only application I’ve found for them is in bookish crafts.

Again, if you genuinely believe a company or group could be interested in them, please inquire first. But more often than not, consumers will ignore them in favour of a full text.

Note Regarding Used Photography Books

When children outgrow their beloved picture books, many families prefer to donate them, which is often a terrific idea.

The same guidelines that apply to dirty, ripped, and damaged books also apply to these.

However, even if you believe a book is typically in good condition, please take care when deciding where to donate your children’s books.

It’s typically okay if it’s only for the library or a used book sale.

However, many locations have literacy programs for young children that accept donations as long as the books are brand-new.

No one wants to give a newborn infant a board book that has already been chewed on, and occasionally these books are dropped off at hospitals or doctor’s offices, where they must be clean and new for reasons of health and safety.

Always be aware of the kinds of books a charity needs while they’re accepting donations.


Last but not least, if the book you wish to get rid of falls into any of the aforementioned categories, it is up to you to discover the appropriate reader and pair them with your undesirable book.

If it’s not possible, I kindly advise you to throw the book away.

You shouldn’t worry because even librarians often discard books and are still permitted to use books in their profession.

All the books you no longer need will make your shelves seem lighter.

Eventually, it could be challenging to remember which books you’ve donated and which ones you’ve discarded.

I hope that this article is helpful. For a list of further intriguing novels, visit our website.

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