Recycling for Charity: old and unwanted books

This page lists charities and other organisations collecting old and unwanted books.

If any details are incorrect or you know of any other groups collecting them, please leave a comment below and I’ll update the listings.

Who Why Country Contact details
READ International

The charity collects old textbooks from schools via its 45 Book Projects across the UK and sends them out to East Africa. Books not suitable for sending will either be sold to raise money or recycled – no books go to landfill.




Community H.E.A.R.T.

The campaign’s aim is to set up school libraries in South Africa so children will have access to books they enjoy reading: story books, novels, information books, the sort of book you would give a child or young person for their birthday or their Christmas.

They ask for 10p with each book too, to help with shipping costs.




Read their guidelines to see the type of books they’re collecting

British Heart Foundation

The BHF have specialist music and book stores throughout the country, which can make the most of specialist or obscure books.



Or take donations directly to the shops in Brighton, Harrogate, Chelthenham, Clifton, Reading or Streatham


288 Responses to “Recycling for Charity: old and unwanted books”

  1. Barry says:

    We run a charity book project, selling books on Amazon. We get donated books and assess whether they are worth selling and then list if valuable enough (Usually £2 and above). However we have a huge surplus of books, many quite new but going for 1p on Amazon.

    Are there any book recycling projects in the Prestwich area that would like to set up a weekly donation from us?


    • Lorraine Turner says:

      Hi are you still looking for somewhere to send your unwanted books? I set up free books shops in order to raise money for various charities and so i would really like to hear from you.
      Kind Regards

      • Helen says:

        I have about 130 Maths text and reference that i would like to donate.
        Where are you.

      • Gillie says:

        Hi Lorraine
        I saw this post when doing a web search for ways to recycle a large number of books I’ve accumulated over the years and really just don’t have room for. Are you still interested in donated books and if so, where are you based?

      • Anonymous says:

        Hi Lorraine! I’ve got about 4-5 sets of history and geography textbooks (key stage 3) that my school has got rid of. Would they be any use to you? They’re good books. Helen Lowry in Milton Keynes.

      • Jan Dixon says:

        Hi Lorraine,

        Are you interested in a box load of 25+ year old accounting and management books. All in good order, but presumably obsolete!
        Reluctant to just throw them out….


  2. Thomas Dosoo says:

    I fell in love with reading not long ago, and would love to change my community by establishing a free reading place in my community, to help both old and young to discover the knowledge hidden in books. I will like to know how I can get some books. I am in Ghana, West Africa. If I need to pay anything or how to go about this. Thank you!

  3. elaine says:

    I am a teacher of French and German. My school decided to stop teaching German and wanted to simply throw out all of the books!! I was horrified and have stored them at my home but now need the space. I have teacher guides and resource and assessment guides for Logo 1-4, Metro 1-3, a level books and a range of other text books which I have kept for resources. I have now retired from full time teaching and do not need so many resources for my parttime supply work. Has anyone got an ideas for donating these books to good homes or at least prevent them from simply being taken to the tip????

    • Emma Kay says:

      Hi Elaine,
      I wonder whether you still have those books. I hope you do!
      I am not sure, but there is perhaps a possibility that my daughter in law would be able to use them. (or at least part of them)
      Could you let me know by email where you are?
      Thanks and kind regards, Emm :)

    • Maheen says:


      Is your books still available for collection?


  4. One more I would like to add to your list: One Million Words Asia Literacy Organization.
    A new non-profit volunteer organization that provides textbooks and readers to rural and remote, impoverished parts of Asia.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am a motswana ( Citizen of Botswana)and would like to start a book,exercice books business in my country. How can you help me learn and start recycling

  6. Sylvester Otiato says:

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I work as a Wellness Champion-Volunteer in the Northern Part of Kenya (Lokichoggio- Turkana West to be precise) an we want to establish a library for the locals (Turkanas). We have got a few books to start with, but we are in dire need of more. Is there any way we can get some?

    Any assistance shall be highly appreciated.

    • shabena says:

      hi sylvester just read ur request for books. i have some english ,maths and science books for ages 11-16 works sheets aswell. if ur still interested please message me and i will be happy to post them to you in kenya.

    • Helen says:

      I have about 130 Maths text and reference books which I would like to donate. How do I get them to you without breaking the bank. I am in Spain.

  7. Vanessa Barry says:

    Hi there, I am sorting out my school Library and need to recycle old fiction books that are really old but still in good condition. If you are interested pls email me. Hilillingdon area.

  8. Justine Rose says:

    If you live in East London Stratford train Station has a book swap. The shelves are located in the main tunnel, near the stairs to Platform 5 and next to the Kiosk. Any kind of books gratefully received, especially those in languages other than English. You can leave 1 book, or lots of books, on your way through the station.
    East Village (former Olympic Athletes Village) E20 has a Little Free Library. This is located in Victory Park on the side closest to Westfield.

  9. Francisca Bonnah says:

    I am a Ghanaian living in Kumasi. I am looking for Old books, second hand clothing for charity.
    Please, assist me.

  10. nanaz says:

    I have some science snd medical uni books as well as school reading books and gen er ral knowledge based on London nw

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  12. Fatima says:

    I would like to have french books for my community in Africa ifyou have any.

    • Marion says:

      I have plenty of French book for adults (thrillers) to give away. Are you interested?
      Thank you

    • Greg Barber says:

      Hi Fatima, Are you still looking for French books? I have a full box of French books, mainly for children and classic adult literature.
      Let me know if you want them.
      Greg Barber

  13. Linda Wenzel says:

    We need children’s ballet books for our literacy and ballet project in Gambia, West Africa.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    I work in a boys grammar school in Gloucestershire and we have GCSE/A level maths and history text books that we no longer require.
    Would anyone be interested in having them, for free? They would have to be collected as there are lots of them!

  17. Rachel McGarrigal says:

    Hi – I am helping my mum give away a huge collection of books that she has collected over the years. Many of them are leather bound sets of novels by authors such as DH Lawrence, Somerset Maughan, Dickens, etc. Are these of interest to anyone?

    Please let me know. Also – I would rather not pay a huge amount to ship/dispatch anywhere if possible.

    Kind regards


    • Linda says:

      Dear Rachel

      I do lots of work with various charities and community group so would
      be interested.
      I’m based in London and could collect if you are in the London area.

      Whereabours are you based?




      • Wendy Shirlow says:

        Hello Linda

        l’ve got around 50-90 various fictional books purchased from Waterstones all in pretty good condition. l am based in Belfast please let me know if you would have any interest as l would be happy to donate these to your reading group.

        regards Wendy

  18. Teresa Collingwood says:

    I am an EFL teacher who wants to donate second hand text books both old and current. Suitable for adults or teenagers. Only one ot two copies of each book available, so not enough for classroom teaching. Please contact me by email. I live in Harrow, NW London.

    • Neka says:

      Hi Teresa, do you still have the books? I would be interested in collecting them to send to west Africa.

      Look forward to your response.


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  21. claire says:

    We have some science text books free to however can collect

  22. Neka says:

    Hi Teresa, do you still have the books? I would be interested in collecting them to send to west Africa.

    Look forward to your response.


  23. che says:

    (used books/second hand books) will do thank u

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