I’ve talked to several people recently who are downsizing and having to get rid of books or they must thin out a collection of books to make room for new ones, perhaps Christmas gifts.
Book lovers face this common problem. It can be difficult to part with books, but there’s one thing I’ve found that makes it easier. Whenever possible, I donate books to people or organizations that will use them for advancing the Kingdom of God.
Here are five places to repurpose your books:
How many Bibles do you have? If you’re like most Christians, the answer is “a bunch” or even “too many to count.” I once stacked my Bibles and the stack was nearly as tall as I am. That’s when I started cutting back. Since then, I’ve sent multiple boxes of Bibles to Bible Senders.
Bible Senders accepts requests for Bibles from around the world and the number of requests vastly out numbers the Bibles available to send. Bible Senders explains: “While our mission is to send a (1) free bible to anyone who asks anywhere in the world, we are not able to meet the 40,000 + requests we receive each month. Yes, that’s correct, over 500,000 requests for free bibles per year! However, at our current capacity we are not able to respond to every request but we do what we can with what we have.”
They have some donation guidelines, of course. The Bibles you send must be “new or gently used.” They do not accept KJV but they will accept paperback, hardcover, or leather-bound Bibles. For more details, please spend some time poking around their website, where you’ll also find the shipping address to Florida.
Christian Resources International
Christian Resources International collects a wide range of Christian books. Once they have enough books to fill a large overseas shipping container (yes, the ones you see on ships, trains, and trucks), they ship the container to one of their overseas distribution centers. They use the books to equip pastors, missionaries, and evangelists. They also set up lending libraries, Bible college libraries, and distribute books to orphans and others. They have sent over $300 million to more than 170 nations. It’s massive and well-organized distribution method gives me confidence my books will be put to the best use possible.
CRI has been on my radar for about a year. Of all the sites I’ve researched, they accept the widest range of Christian books, including, academic books, some home schooling materials, Christian fiction, CDs, DVDs, and some specific Christian magazines. Be sure to download the PDF Materials List before you start filling a box to send.
Christian Library International
Christian Library International is a prison ministry distributing Bibles and books to US prisons and using them to disciple prison inmates. They ship new and used Bibles, books, CDs, and DVDs to prison chaplains who set up a lending library or book cart. They also personally give materials to the inmates. I have an interest in CLI because they accept books from Christian authors and publishers.
Here is a list of the items they need most and items they are no longer accepting. Also, be sure to open the PDF Book Donation Form for more details.
Love Packages collects Christian books and teaching resources to distribute all over the world. According to Love Packages, “These are materials that would have sat collecting dust on shelves or been thrown away. Now it’s being used to reach souls for Christ, encourage and build up the Church, and the raising up and training of leaders to shine the light in dark places.” After checking their list of items accepted, you can ship your package to their facility in Illinois.
Book Aid (UK)
For those of you in the UK, Book Aid Charitable Trust provides the same type of collection and distribution service for Christian books. They send new and used Christian books and Bibles to places in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. They have almost 200 collection points across the UK where you can simply drop off your books. They’ll even send someone to your door to collect your books. For more information, check out their FAQs.