Redux: NYC Book Donation Centers

This blog is an update of one that was published 10 years ago and, over time, the information became dated. This information is current as of September 15, 2023. In some cases, you can sell your books for money. The following are only some of the many places in the city that will accept donations.

New York Public Library. According to the FAQ list, NYPL is no longer taking any donations of books until further notice. For rare books, manuscripts and other unique materials, NYPL is instructing donors to contact them at NYPL’s gifts policy is here.

NYPL’s Webster Library has a lower level shop called The Book Cellar, where used books are sold.  Run by the Friends of Webster Library, the Book Cellar sells used books to benefit the branch libraries of NYPL. Business hours are Tuesday and Thursday 12-5, and Saturday 11-4. Call (212) 930-9256 or email for information.

The Strand Bookstore. The Strand is still interested in buying books. Click here to see the Strand’s guidelines. Email and allow 72 hours for a response.

Books Through Bars. BTB has limited resources with which to process donations. See their list of books wanted/not accepted here. You need to get approval from BTB by emailing them at Once approved, bring your donations to the packing site, Freebird Books, 123 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, NY.

Housing Works Bookstore Café. The bookstore and café will take 2 bags or boxes from a donor at a time. For larger donations, fill out the donor form or send an email to with details. The bookstore and café is located at 126 Crosby Street, Manhattan, phone (212) 334-3324.

Word Up Community Book Shop. Word Up’s donation guidelines are here. For large donations, email or call 347-688-4456. NOTE: there is a notice dated 3/22/23 that Word Up and its affiliate, Recirculation, are not accepting any book donations at this time.

Turn the Page Again! TPA is an organization that helps people with mental health issues and is located in Bayside, Queens. They periodically stop taking donations. Before donating, call (718) 767-2341 for information.

Queens Public Library. According to the FAQ here, QPL accepts donations. Donations can be accepted at any QPL branch. Call QPL at (718) 990-0714 for guidelines and hours.

Brooklyn Public Library. BPL accepts no gift donations. BPL will accept donations for books sales, but only at certain times of the year. Check the BPL web site for announcements of when books are being accepted.

Pick-Up Please. Organization that picks-up donations for veterans. They work quickly, arriving in a day or two after contact. Schedule a book pick-up here.

The Big Reuse in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn also takes books. Use their donation form to make inquires.

DonateNYC. Search the website to find other places that will take books.

About the Author

MIchael Handis is an Associate Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center and the Information Management Librarian in the Mina Rees Library.