For bookworms, building up their collection of books often becomes a delightful obsession, each volume representing a cherished escape into a different world. Yet, as bookshelves overflow and novels gather dust, it’s time to consider passing them on.

Donating books isn’t just about decluttering — it’s about sharing stories. It offers others the chance to experience the same literary joy as you did when you first read the books. Additionally, it supports community programs, clears space for your new reads and helps reduce paper waste.

If you’re ready to part with some volumes from your collection, we’ve compiled a list of convenient book donation spots in Seattle. Whether they find new homes in charity shops or educational initiatives, your books will continue their journey, spreading knowledge and delight to new readers.

1. Friends of Seattle Library

At the Friends of Seattle Library, a warm welcome awaits your preloved books, movies and music CDs. Their dedicated team stands ready to assist you in unloading your donations hassle-free.

Through annual sales events, these donations are given new life, with every dollar earned directed back into the community’s educational programs and the restocking of public library shelves. Local educators also benefit from discounted prices to enrich their students’ learning experiences.

Before donating, consider this simple guideline: Would you share this book with a friend? If the answer is yes, the Friends of Seattle Library will happily receive your contribution. Accepted items range from gently used adult and children’s books to paperbacks, hardcovers, cookbooks, textbooks, foreign language books and well-maintained magazines. However, they do not accept damaged, marked-up or highlighted books, encyclopedia sets, VHS tapes, music cassettes, DVDs or audiobooks.

Learn more about their donation policy here.

Cardboard donation box full of books. Donation concept. Help for children, support for poor kid. Social care, volunteering and charity concept. Donation box book.

2. Treehouse for community services

Treehouse, a notable nonprofit organization in Seattle, is renowned for its impactful educational services within the local communities. Serving as a crucial support system for foster children, Treehouse greatly benefits from donations of gently used books and other educational materials.

Your book contributions play a significant role in enhancing the learning opportunities for these young individuals. To donate, simply deliver your items to the loading dock at 2100 24th Avenue South in Seattle.

For further inquiries or information, visit their website.

3. Ronald McDonald House of Charities

In Seattle, the Ronald McDonald House of Charities stands out as an excellent option for book donations. Functioning as a comforting haven for families with children receiving treatment at Seattle Children’s Hospital or the Alaska Native Medical Center, the Ronald McDonald House plays a vital role in supporting numerous community initiatives.

Their mission extends beyond providing shelter, as they gladly accept donations ranging from books to video games and toys. These contributions play a crucial role in fostering a nurturing learning environment for the children within their care.

To learn more about donating to the Ronald McDonald House, visit their website for further details.

Multiethnic couple reading books while unpacking stuff after relocating to a new flat. Young man and african woman packing cardboard boxes with books. Guy and girl moving house.

4. Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission

Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, a longstanding nonprofit ministry, has been dedicated to serving and supporting the homeless population throughout the greater Seattle area since its inception in 1932, amid the challenges of the Great Depression.

Your contributions can make a significant impact, as the mission accepts donations of books, clothing, housewares and various other items. These donated resources play a crucial role in providing essential support to individuals experiencing homelessness in the Seattle area, offering them a chance to rebuild their lives.

Donated books find their way to Hope Place, a shelter for women and children, or to YouthCare, which provides after-school tutoring and childcare across Burien, White Center, Bellevue and Seattle. For drop-off details, please refer to the website for more information.

5. Local thrift stores

Local thrift stores like Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul’s thrift shops, and Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Bargain Boutiques offer convenient options for donating books and music while supporting worthwhile causes in the community.

Goodwill gladly accepts books, CDs, records and cassette tapes, with proceeds funding free job training and education programs.

Meanwhile, St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores welcome donations of books, CDs, records, cassettes and videos, with proceeds assisting needy families through food and rent assistance as well as providing new school clothes.

Additionally, Bargain Boutiques, with five locations across Seattle, provide another avenue for donating clothes, books and even furniture, with 100% of profits benefitting Seattle Children’s Hospitals. For those looking to support Seattle Children’s Hospital, the Bargain Boutiques are a fantastic choice — however, it’s advisable to call ahead to confirm acceptable donations.

6. Little Free Library

With a mission of promoting literacy and a love of reading among people of all ages and backgrounds, the Little Free Library takes the form of roughly 175K free library sites across 121 countries. They have an estimate of more than 400M books shared across their network, providing greater and more equitable book access in neighborhoods worldwide.

To find a Little Free Library close to you, visit the Little Free Library map.

7. The blue bins by Discover Books

Discover Books, an online bookshop, has created a fantastic book collection program by placing donation bins all over the city. They even have an interactive bin locator that will assist you in identifying the closest book collection bin in your area.

By removing old books from the shelves, you can clear out your space, spread knowledge and nurture a love for reading in your community. Instead of letting your books gather dust, let them inspire other people through their stories.

Discover Books has a sustainable cycle of keeping books and their stories alive for as long as possible, bringing a simple solution to major global issues like literacy and sustainability.

Organizing and storing books

When it comes to organizing and storing books, thoughtful consideration can make a significant difference in fostering your love for reading while maintaining a tidy space.

Once you’ve curated a selection for donation, you may still have plenty of volumes you’re not ready to part with. In this scenario, exploring creative book storage ideas at home or securing a nearby storage unit becomes crucial.

However, even the most devoted readers may find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer abundance of choices. It’s essential to embark on the literary journey by carefully curating a selection of a chosen few volumes, ensuring each one receives the attention and appreciation it deserves.

To prevent any mishaps from overcrowding, aim for just a few books per shelf and avoid piling them up. And as books get loved and worn, why not switch them around occasionally with ones tucked away or higher up? That way, there’s always a fresh batch of stories waiting to be discovered.

Woman packs books in a moving box for moving to the new house

Using a storage unit is also a great idea for keeping books safe for future use, keeping things tidy and making sure there’s always something great to read nearby.

Fortunately, you can find plenty of self storage units in Seattle, and you can pick the right size and unit type for your book storage needs.

If you only need to store some boxes with books, then a small 5’x5’ storage unit will be enough, and the average monthly rent for this type of storage unit in Seattle is around $62. Do you need additional storage for other items such as seasonal clothing, furniture or appliances? Then a 10’x10’ unit will be a better choice. The monthly rent for this type of unit in Seattle is around $176.


Theodora is a real estate writer and lifestyle editor for StorageCafe and has a background in advertising and brand management. With a BA in Communication & PR and an MA in Social Media & Online Marketing, she is now focused on bringing her creative approach to the world of real estate. When out of the office, she can be found having an outdoor adventure.

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