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


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

  1. gerald conyngham says:

    i have lots of books on management development, team working and working with organisations, is anyone interested?
    gerald conyngham

  2. Harun iftci says:

    We are setting up a library in a secondary school in Burdur in Turkey and need useable secondhand and new books in all subjects. The school also serves as a hub for local primary schools and rural secondary schools, so books suitable for 4 to 18 year olds, textbooks, reading books, and general interest /reference books all welcome. Please get in touch if you can help You can contact with me with my mail

  3. sandra says:

    @Harun where are you based? I have lots of books which would be suitable

  4. Maggie Middlemiss says:

    I used to be a teacher and currently wish to clear out my garage by getting rid of old books, ring binders, folders, polypockets. Where can I take them?

    • michael says:

      Im a design student in london and am currently making a table out of hard back books. I need around 400 of them within the next few weeks. Anyone have any ideas?

      • Karen says:

        Hi, Did you find your books? If not, I’ve got loads. All you need to do is collect them (I’m in SW Herts).

      • Maddie says:

        I have some hard back books I can give you. Im in Kent.

  5. AJ says:

    Schools for Africa need admin. / filing materials apparently:

  6. Evelyn Coker says:

    We are setting up a library in a primary school in Tombo in Freetown Peninsula, Sierra Leone and we need useable secondhand and new books in all subjects. The school also serves as a hub for local primary schools and rural secondary schools, so books suitable for 4 to 18 year olds, textbooks, reading books, and general interest /reference books all welcome. Please get in touch if you can help you can contact with me with my mail address:

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Evelyn

      I work in a local pprimary school library in Hertfordshire. Iam currently boxing up well loved books to be given to an organisation. At the last school I worked we sent all oreloved books to Africa via a charity but the person who organised has since left the school & not sure which organisation she contacted. They collected & shipped free of charge?

    • Carolyn Linton says:

      Science Textbooks -for 11-18 year olds plus some Maths.


      I am in SW Herts

  7. Gary McGregor says:

    I’m a volunteer with a local charity shop which is run solely be ladies and they have raised a tremendous amount of money in our local area. Part of the funding they received was a collection of excess books which were uplifted and they received money from a charitable organisation. This was stopped a few weeks ago and not only have they lost the steady money coming in but we now have a lot of books which we can’t do anything with. Does anyone know of an organisation who may uplift books for cash in the Aberdeenshire / Moray area.
    Many thanks

  8. Allison Connor says:

    I have a lot of books mainly James Patterson and Wilbur Smith, many are hard backs. If anyone is interested in them FOC please get in touch. Crewe, Cheshire area. I can be contacted at

  9. SERVE (Society for Enlightenment and Reorganization of the Village Ends) is an NPO/NGO working with the slum people nd the low caste communities and so called untouchable communities and has a network of other NGOS working in the same field. Your donation of books on development, community organisation, health related, children books, dictionaries etc would be great help Kindly send them to the following address. we also have churches and a network of pastors who work in the poor churches who require bible, bible commentaries and bible dictionaries. Kindly help us. thanks.
    Dr.Victor Luther Paul Nakka,
    Director & Chairperson, SERVE.
    D.No:6-201. Thriveni Nagar, Balapur Cross Roads, Meer Pet Post, Hyderabad – 500079, India.
    Tel. 0091-0-9440443830. –

  10. Jill Coetzee says:

    I have boxes of school textbooks which are mostly in good condition but the school now uses new additions. Is there is a school in South Africa that can make use of these.

    Contact me on

  11. Marie says:

    Hello, I am having a clear-out and have a lot of paper-backs to give away. I am in west London, please contact me if you are interested for collection. Kind regards, Marie

  12. Suzanne says:

    Hello . I wish to donate approx 60 books , various , all in good condition . Not used as much as they should have been !!!
    Please help ! Thank you

  13. Catherine Belton says:

    we have a load of children’s and adult books to get rid off, please e-mail me if you want them Bristol BS14 area

    • che says:

      Hello Catherine,

      Good day! Do you still have the books? I really in need of children books in any levels. I live in Spain and I give English lesson for free. We only have 1 library here and no English books. Any used/ second hand books will do. I’m sure your books will bring a big smile for these beautiful children.
      Thank you for your time. My email add: maphuche@

  14. SylviaJarrett says:

    I have 2 large bags of good quality children’s toys to donate also several boxes of children’s/adults books if anyone wants to collect from Sevenoaks Kent area. 01732-762636

  15. Lizzi Palmer says:

    Penny Library is a non profit organization tackling world poverty. We need lots of books!
    We can collect in and around Bristol and Colchester. Please email us if you can help.
    Thank you

    • Val says:

      I have hundreds of books and need to reduce the collection. They cover a wide range of subjects, both fiction and non fiction, hardback and paperback.

      I live in Colchester and would be pleased to discuss how I might be able to help your cause should you be interested.

  16. Dave Howard says:

    We are looking to create a book bank in the centre of Derby, for the low waged and unemployed. This is a new start up venture so all usable donations will be gratefully received. The aim is to build up an extensive library, reading books, and general interest /reference books all welcome. If you wish to help this new venture in your city please leave a post. I will endeavour to answer your replies as soon as possible many thanks!.

    • Dave Howard says:

      Just a footnote on the Book Bank venture we are now opening it to the whole community of Derby and are also looking for bookcases also.

      • Linda says:

        I would love to donate a selection of books as am having a big clear out. I could sort out those in good condition and let you know what they are if that helps – fiction, cookery, art, education. (I live near Market Bosworth and also travel regularly to Coalville).

    • Kerry says:

      Hi there – I have some teaching theory/lesson plan/text books that I am clearing out – would these be any good for your project? I am in Derby. They have my name in some of them which I will cover/ink over.

  17. Cate Tumman says:

    I have a huge number of books of all reading level.
    Fiction, non-fiction and text books.
    I am based at in a school in Nottingham, would anyone like them.

  18. Muridi says:

    We are setting up a library in Mogadishu, Somalia and need any second-hand and new books in all subjects.

    We have lost two generations of children to war, and in Mogadishu there is not any library at the moment and I started to collect Educational Books.

    Please donate us any usable book .

    My Name is Muridi and I live in UK

    my Email is

    • Tina Moore says:

      I am a school librarian and I need to make room for new books. We have fiction and non-fiction books. Some are virtually brand new, never having been taken out on loan.
      At the moment I don’t know exactly how many.

      • Balventray Karadia says:


        I would be interesting in any school text books
        We are organising a shipment to India & pakistan to donate books to the school libaries


      • Kipa says:

        Hi Tina,

        I have a community school back in the village in Papua New Guinea and I am interested in library old or second hand books to donate to them, please confirm how I could received them.


  19. karen says:

    hi, I work in a primary school in skelmersdale and we have loads of text books and other books we no longer need and we are looking for someone who can collect the books for other countries or charity. anyone interested please contact.


    • Balventray Karadia says:


      I would be interested we are currently organising a collection
      to send to indian sub continent


  20. susan hiller says:

    I have a large box of books to give away; hardbacks and paperbacks, fiction and non-fiction, all good quality and useful, not rubbish. I live in west-central London and need a free collection.

  21. MRS V J Craner says:

    I have some bibles in good condition and music edition hymn books also a lot of organ and piano music can anyone use it,

  22. themba says:

    We are looking at opening small book place where the community can read and share ideas. This is specially for the unemployed and students. Please we looking for motivationa/inspirational and business books.
    Republic of south africa

  23. Linda Chainey says:

    Have got 2 big boxes of primary ks1 and ks2 educational books plus loads of primary worksheets. Please let me know if you can collect from North west London? Thank you!

  24. che says:

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

  25. I think unwanted books should be given to schools, libraries and people in need. It’s not right to destroy books in order to use them as a material for a project or something…Books should be cherished!

  26. I am a retiree doing voluntary community development in rural N eastern Kenya. I have been here for 5 years. We are building a small community library and am in desperate need of graded early reading books as we are going to train 10 unemployed youth to support struggling readers in 4 local primary schools. This project should start in Feb 2015; we want to justify the need for a reading culture. Also to occupy otherwise idle school leavers , who have skills but no jobs or money to go on to further education. I would dearly like to know if any Primary schools are renewing their Oxford reading tree, Ginn or Read write inc books. It would be wonderful. Yours in hope Christine

    • Caroline Bolingbroke says:

      Hi Christine, I’ve just rescued a whole reading scheme (probably about 200 or more books) that our primary school was throwing out. It’s the Oxford Reading Tree one with Biff, Chip and Kipper characters (they include children from various ethnic backgrounds). If you still need the books we’d be happy to donate them to you. Please get in touch if you would like them. I have an idea about transport, so please contact me.
      Your project sounds wonderful.

  27. Nadeem says:

    I am working in Pakistan to educate children, I do not how can we work together.
    Kind regards,

  28. Michael Wright says:

    I will be moving home in the next 2 months or so. I live in Bollington, cheshire.

    I have a great number of books that need a good home – a free book library somewhere would be good. The books range fiction to textbooks.

  29. Sarah says:

    I work in a secondary school Science department in the midlands and we have lots of used textbooks to donate to a good home. Please reply if you want more details.

  30. Sonia Spencer says:

    I am a Sierra Leonean Science teacher trainer living in Sierra Leone. During he rebel war, 80% of the Njala University Campus was destroyed. I am desperately looking for donation of new/secondhand/recycled basic science equipment to help us prepare our students to teach Secondary school science properly.

    If you can help, please leave a reply.

    Thank you very much.

    • Carolyn Linton says:

      Science Textbooks -for 11-18 year olds plus some Maths.
      Good condition


      I am in SW Herts

      Do not want to throw out

  31. Barbara More says:

    I have a lot of text books used by my children whilst at school. They are in reasonable condition and cover many subjects. My children are now in their thirties and, perhaps, the texts may be considered out of date. I don’t like the idea of just destroying them-the information must still be relevant. I will happily ship them to anyone who can use them.

  32. Stephen usher says:

    The school I work in has approximately 100 hymn books that have hardly been used. They are in great condition and we’d love to find a charity/school/church that could put them to good use.


      Christian Greetings
      I am so interested to those hymns books. They are good use to our ministry for the ethnic tribal church workers. Can you send those hymn books for our ministry? God bless.

      Medina Avenue, Carmen, Ozamiz City
      7200 Philippines

  33. KJ EDEN says:

    If anyone living in Somerset area has a large amount of unwanted non-fiction books/dvd’s and cd’s in reasonable condition, I would be happy to hear from you. We are fund-raising for Christian work here and overseas.

    • Paul Haith says:

      Hello, I have about 50 boxes of mixed secondhand books I need to get rid of. They are situated in Glastonbury.

    • Alison Mead says:

      Hi – I am the Librarian at a secondary school in Bridgwater. I am moving to smaller premises & have some non-fiction books that are no longer needed. Do you still want books? If so, where are you?

  34. Fatou says:

    I am a norwegian currently living in the Gambia. There aren’t any libraries in the country except for maybe school libraries and you only find those in private (tuition based) school. I would like to open up a childrens library for the less priviledged. so if anyone has books to donate, please contact me.

    • George ikamba says:

      I have around 15000 books you can have if interested

    • Tara Vincett says:

      I am based in London NW10 at a Primary school, and have about 600 books to give away if you can collect.

      • Catherine Njaka says:

        I work in a primary school in Nigeria. We are proposing to build a community library as there is no library in this part of the country.
        If the books are still available to collect I will arrange a collection date.
        Kindest Regards

  35. George ikamba says:

    I have around 15000 books. Ranging from kids, adults, fiction, non fiction, spreading a very very wide range of topics. Based in Torquay Devon. If interested please get in contact

  36. Balventray karadia says:

    Hello I have several sets of brittanica encolpodie and 300. Childrens books i would like to donate to any charity who can send to indai or afirca.
    I live in Neasden, London. Thanks

    • Ola says:

      Hello Balventray,
      I am interested in these children’s books. I know a school in Africa that the headteacher has been asking for unwanted books for primary schools. I will be delighted to take these off you hands
      my email is I replaced the . and @ in my email.

  37. Balventray Karadia says:


    If any one has any violins they no longer require I would be interested
    in them. I am organising a shipment of violins to India to help the children in the poor areas learn to play a musical instruement and form an string orchestra based on the EL SITEMO method. See Youtube video of the same.


  38. Study says:

    Once you have many old books, glue them to the wall you want to insulate from weather and from the noise, them paint the wall your favorite color.

  39. Tara Vincett says:

    Hi, I work in a school in North West London, near Wembley. We have a good few hundred books which we are happy to donate to anyone who can collect. There are a mixture of fiction and non-fiction books as we have a new library. I am sure would be a great use to someone. I can not bear the thought that these books could be thrown away…. please let me know if you are interested.

    • Jo McGoldrick says:

      Hi Tara,

      I am a school librarian in the West Midlands with a similar problem to the one you posted. It would be very helpful if you could let me know if / how you managed to solve the problem of what to do with all these books!

      Many thanks


  40. Esther Ashu says:

    Hi, I am Administrator/ Teacher Trainer at an educational centre in Cameroon, Central Africa. We run a daycare facility, a nursery and primary school and will be starting a vocational training centre for under priviledged youths in the near future. We have an urgent need for books, teaching aids, computers and other information technologies for children with special needs and vocational teaching aids.

    • Elli Harrington says:

      I have a lot of education text books on teaching reading, writing, dyslexia etc that I would like to donate to anyone who would find them useful. I live in Wolverhampton, West Midlands. If you could collect them, there must be about 100, all good condition.

  41. Farida says:


    I have a large number of medical textbooks after a medical degree – which I am willing to donate to a good cause. Collection from North West London, UK please. Lots of medical areas. Study MCQs too. Please reply to me if interested. Thanks

    • Ernest Katashila says:

      Hi Farida. Would love to collect the medical text books from you if you havent yet donated them elsewhere. We are setting up a Library for Nurse Training in Zambia (Africa) and any such text books, medical charts and medical models plus related items would be handy. Am in West Sussex. If there are any other people or charities you might know who are willing to donate similar books please point us to them. Alternatively, they can get in touch with me using the email address: Thanks

  42. Amy Carter says:

    We have around 70 unused good quality delegate bags from our conference that would make excellent school/book bags for children. Is it anybody interested in these? Please contact me if so and I can send them to you.

  43. I am a principal of Ecumenical Theological College in Malawi Africa. I would like donations of theology books from wellwishers.
    My number is +265 999 579 654

  44. Kathy Hodgson says:

    We have maths textbooks which are used but in good condition which have been superceded by changes to the UK syllabuses but would be of use to anyone teaching general maths at KS4 or KS5 level. In most cases we have around 10 copies of each title.

  45. 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….


  46. 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!

  47. 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?


  48. 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.

  49. 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

  50. 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.

Leave a Reply

Your name
Your email (it will not be published. If you want people to contact you, leave your email address in the message too.)
Your website (if you've got one)