Friday, March 29, 2013

Text Book Donation

After I graduated college I didn't know what to do with some of my textbooks, they were expensive and the buy back program was minimal - not really worth it.  At the time I tried and did sell a few books that way.  But after a while, I forgot to keep listing them and I rarely used the books I wanted to keep as reference.  4 moves later, the books were still in boxes in the attic or basement untouched.  If I had a whole room as a library, maybe I'd put them on a shelf, but I don't have much space.  

I could have donated the books to libraries or other book sales but they would probably be recycled.  I didn't want all those books to go to waste.

I started to do some research to find out where I can donate these books for their intended purpose - to teach.  And who better to teach than those that want to learn...but don't have the resources?  OK, so the books are several years old - but they were mostly science and math - and that doesn't change tremendously for the 'basics'.  

Books for Africa was the charity I decided to donate my books to.  I had to ship my books to a warehouse in Georgia (It cost me $35 for about 70 pounds) and then they collect enough books to get a crate to ship to Africa.  If you don't have books to donate, you can donate to their funds for the crate shipment - it is about 50 cents per book.  After my donation, I received a standard thank you letter to use as a tax write-off.

At the time I posted this, Books for Africa accepted the following (but check their website for the most up to date information).  

Books For Africa Warehouse-Atlanta 2971 Olympic Industrial Drive SE, Suite B Smyrna, GA 30080   USA

Books For Africa accepts:

  • 15 years old or newer popular fiction and nonfiction reading books (soft and hard cover).
  • 1998 or newer publish date primary, secondary, and college textbooks (soft and hard cover).
  • 2003 or newer reference books such as encyclopedias and dictionaries.
  • 1998 or newer publish date medical, nursing, IT, and law books.
  • Bibles are sent when requested by African recipients. We will accept Bibles or religious books, please place them in a box separate from other donations and mark the box as “Religious texts.”
  • School/office supplies—paper, pencils, pens, wall charts, maps, etc.
Acceptable books are gently used and relevant to an African reader.

Books For Africa does NOT accept:

  • Magazines or journals of any kind, including academic journals.
  • Home decorating or wedding books.
  • Cookbooks.
  • Ethnocentric books, such as the biography of Abraham Lincoln or the history of Ohio.
  • Foreign language books except for French books. French novels and dictionaries are welcome.
  • American history or civics.
  • Music books for K–12.
  • Murder mysteries or anything with “kill,” “die,” “murder,” etc. in the title.
Next time you are cleaning out the garage, basement or attic, and find books you aren't using, I implore you to donate them.  Books for Africa might be a great place to donate to for items you know your local library will not accept.


  1. Good to know!

    My book club sent a bunch of stuff to deployed soldiers and I still have a TON of books in my basement now. It is NOT CHEAP to send books overseas (about $16 for a "large" ready-to-ship box) and would love to send some to another venue!

    I'll have to go through my stuff! Thanks for the info! :)

  2. What a great piece of information. Thank you for sharing this!