Looking for adult-level books? Check out our Book Grants program!

The Book Worm Angels program at Open Books provides more than 100,000 free, engaging, high-quality, age-appropriate, excellent-condition books to schools and nonprofit partners across Chicago each year for students to enjoy and share with their families.

Book Worm Angels grants are intended for children in any age group, from newborns to high school students, and for reluctant readers as well as voracious ones. Use a book grant to build or replenish a classroom library, or use it for a book giveaway event – as long as the books end up in kids’ hands, we’re cool with it.
All the books we use have been donated to us. The book grant team examines each book to ensure that the books you receive will be high-quality, engaging, and developmentally appropriate.

There are three ways to participate in the Book Worm Angels program. Each involves boxes full of free, hand-picked books that your students will love!

  • Book Grab Table: Visit Open Books Pilsen anytime during business hours, ask about the Book Grab Table, sign in, and then fill a box with any books you like from our ever-changing stock. No application or appointment necessary. Visit as often as you like!
  • “Classic” Book Grant: Our book grant team uses the information in your application to gather the most appropriate books we have available. We box up the books; you pick them up once they’re ready. These book grants usually take 2-4 months to fulfill. Recommended for requests for large numbers of books (e.g., community literacy nights).
  • Build-Your-Own Book Grant (New!): Apply if you want an invitation to a private book-gathering spree at Open Books Pilsen. Choose books from the very same stock we use for classic book grants. Highly recommended for building or replenishing classroom libraries.

What to do when the application is closed

Book Worm Angels is such a popular program that we have to close the application from time to time to catch up with our waiting list. While you wait for the application to return, keep this information in mind:

Both of our bookstores and the free Book Grab Table at Open Books Pilsen will remain open throughout the year.

You can sign up for the Open Books newsletter so that you can stay informed about our sales and events, and be among the first to know when the application returns!

If you need books for a special event, please contact us. We need to know about your event at least one month in advance.


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