Donated Books And What They Do

Each year, generous readers donate hundreds of thousands of books to support literacy. We sell those books in our stores and online to help fund our programs, use and give them away in our instructional and book grant programs, and recycle any that are unusable. Our book department produces zero waste, and we give away 2 books for every 3 we sell. We welcome any sellable book in good condition. This includes fiction, nonfiction, craft books, cookbooks, children’s books, and more! We also accept LPs, CDs, and DVDs in good playable condition. We CANNOT accept: encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauruses, sets of law books, magazines / journals, VHS tapes, or pre-college (K-12) textbooks.


Questions about book donation? Let us know: [email protected] Need a receipt for your donation? Click here.

Want to do a book drive for Open Books?

Fantastic! Here’s everything you need to know: The Book Drive Book (.pdf)

Request A FREE Pickup

We offer free pickup service in the Chicago area M-F 10am-2pm, schedule permitting. Due to limited resources and availability, we cannot honor all requests, but we will do our very best. Because of high demand for our service, there is a wait list. We fulfill a majority of requests within four weeks, but the wait may be longer. To inquire about a pickup, please fill out this form.

Fill out my online form.


These drop boxes are generously sponsored by South Street Capital (River North) and StorageMart (Hillside and Northbrook).

What We Can and Cannot Take
Most of our book grants and programs are for students in preK-12, so we are most interested in receiving:
Chapter and young adult books in very good condition
Series and authors that are currently popular
Books with diverse characters and settings
We are unable to accept:
Encyclopedias (we will take Encyclopedia Brown though!)
Magazines (National Geographic/Time/Life/etc.)
Older Textbooks
Books from Libraries or School Libraries
Law Books
Water Damaged Books
Moldy Books

Bring Them In

Books are happily accepted at our Pilsen and West Loop locations during regular business hours. Please see our store pages for more information on the hours and how to get in touch. If your donation is over five boxes, please drop them off at our Pilsen location so we can best serve you.

Drop Them Off

You can drop off your books at any of the following bin locations! If the bin is full, we ask donors to refrain from leaving their books outside – they will be exposed to the elements until our pickup team is available to attend to the bin. If you have a large donation (more than a couple of boxes or bags), please drop off at our Pilsen warehouse.

West Loop

645 W Couch Pl Chicago, IL 60661 Drop box off Desplaines between Randolph and Lake St., behind our West Loop store


905 W. 19th St. Chicago, IL 60608 Drop slot in front of building

River North

802 W. Superior Chicago, IL 60642 Drop box at corner of Halsted + Superior


5979 Butterfield Rd. Hillside, IL 60162 Drop box in front of StorageMart


2727 Shermer Rd. Northbrook, IL 60062 Drop box in front of StorageMart