How do I Recycle: Old or Used Books?

How do I Recycle Books? with two photos of colorful books on a shelf and table
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We get it, there's nothing like a new book - the way the spine creaks when it's first opened, the crisp pages, the "new book smell" - they are a delight! But sometimes books have been loved to pieces or are no longer wanted for a variety of reasons. What then?
Here are some ways to recycle books, to keep them out of the landfill or incinerator:
DONATE: Check around your town - the library, senior center, school, or local prison may be able to take relevant books in good condition. You could also look for Little Libraries around town and swap in a few favorites. But whatever you do, remember, if you wouldn't give a book to a friend - based on its subject or condition - then it's probably not a good choice for donating, either.
RECYCLE: First check with your recycling program or transfer station, but often times paperback books can be recycled with mixed paper. The pages out of hardcover books may also be recycled with mix paper, but you will need to remove the hard cover.
PASS THEM ON: This is a great option if you get together as a town or with friends to gather 10+ boxes of books! 
Discover Books ( helps stories live on through the resale, recycling, and charitable redistribution of books.


This material is based upon work supported under a grant by the Rural Utilities Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Rural Utilities Service. Rural Community Assistance Partnership, Inc., is an equal opportunity provider and employer.