First off, a HUGE thank you to the Reddit user, u/thistypeofthing, who recently posted this on the Kalamazoo Reddit thread.
Their post reads,
Where to donate used books in Kalamazoo? I have a bunch of good condition books, children's, adult, nonfiction, fiction that I need to get out of my house. Any ideas of where I could donate OTHER than goodwill or salvation army?
As someone who loves to read but has no idea what to do with these books once I'm done reading them, I sincerely appreciate this thread.
Reading is great for the mind. It improves your focus, can help reduce stress, improve communication skills, and so much more. But, if you're someone who loves to buy books, especially when they're on sale (points finger at herself), what do you do with all of those books once you've finally read them?
Yes, you can donate them to major thrift shops like Goodwill and Salvation Army, as the above Reddit post suggests, but what about local places? Thankfully, locals of Kalamazoo had a few suggestions:
1. Contact the Kalamazoo Public Library
u/KittyyittK wrote: Call KPL, they have a friend's organization that takes donations. They resell them and the money goes to library projects. Portage DL has one too, they are closed for renovations, but call they might take them.
As they mention, the Portage District Library is currently closed for renovations but either the Kalamazoo or Portage Library should be able to either take your donations or direct you to a place where you can donate them.
2. Donate Them to Little Libraries
U/owtdorz asked: Any “little libraries” in your neighborhood?
If you're unfamiliar, Little Libraries are a free resource for books usually set up in neighborhoods to be accessed by anyone and everyone. They generally focus on children's books but, as they're becoming more popular, you're bound to find one that's more young adult or adult-oriented. In fact, in August of 2021, a dozen free little libraries were installed across Kalamazoo. Read more here.
3. Donate Them to Correctional Facilities
U/Zestyclose-Shop-4707 said: Honestly, the juvenile detention center and the county jail need books the most. Budget is always redirected away from it.
Across the country, there have been a number of different programs set up to provide prisoners with books. If your books are more teen-oriented, you can contact the Juvenile Home in Kalamazoo to see if they'll accept your donation. Or, check out the list of programs currently providing books to prisoners both in Michigan and across the country here.
4. Donate to a Locally Owned Thrift Shop
If you don't want to donate your books to corporately owned thrift shops, there are several smaller, locally owned thrift shops in the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek area. You'll need to double-check to see which ones take books, though.
U/rainbowkey suggested: Nuway is not goodwill or salvation army but similar and they do sell books
You can see a list of other local thrift shops below:
5. Donate Them to Read and Write Kalamazoo
U/Equivalent-Diamond87 wrote: To my job!!! I work at Read and Write Kalamazoo and we are always accepting children & young adult titles!
Yes, this is definitely more specific to children's books and young adult titles but, Read and Write Kalamazoo sounds like a worthy cause. They are a non-profit organization that's dedicated to nurturing creativity amongst Kalamazoo's youth with in-school programs, summer programs, creative writing workshops, and more. Read more and find their contact information here.
It sounds like we book hoarders (maybe it's just me) have plenty of options for donating those used books. Again, you can see the original post on the Kalamazoo Reddit thread here for even more suggestions.