Female looking at books in library

Where Can I Recycle My Books in San Francisco?

San Francisco is a city full of smart, intelligent and artistic people. It’s safe to assume that many of these people have impressive libraries. At the very least, typical San Francisco classics like books written by Mark Twain and Jack Kerouac don their bookshelves. But as part of the decluttering process, sometimes books don’t make the cut. This doesn’t mean you should throw your books away though. That would be a sin. Bad book karma. When we move people who have cleaned out their libraries, we’re often asked:
“Where Can I Recycle My Books in San Francisco?”
The answer is there are many options for recycling your books in San Francisco. The San Francisco Public Library regularly accepts donations. Many neighborhoods also have their own libraries where neighbors are encouraged to give and take books as they please; this is known as the Little Free Library project. Goodwill is another option. There’s also the Prisoner’s Literature Project.
Here are all of your options:

1. The San Francisco Public Library

Drop off your used books at The San Francisco Public Library at 1630 17th Street. Drop off hours are Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. & Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Donations are tax-deductible, and resold at the public library. They receive millions each year, and count on them to keep the library running.

2. Little Free Library

You may have noticed tiny bookshelves tucked away in San Francisco neighborhoods like Cole Valley and the Mission with a sign labeled “Take one, leave one.” These are part of the Little Free Library project. This is a good option if you only have a couple books. And what better way to donate than to take one for yourself too? You can view a map of these little libraries here.

3. Goodwill

Goodwill is always a good option if you have a bulk supply of media that you need to donate. There are multiple locations available around the city in The Haight, The Mission, Pac Heights and more. Learn more about their donation hours and locations here. These donations are also tax deductible.

4. Prisoner’s Literature Project

Prisoner’s Literature Project is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that receives donations from all across the country. They send packages of donated books to prisoners. While they receive book donations from a genre, there are specific asks from prisoners that prefer such as dictionaries, how-to books, history books, dictionaries of all kinds (including ASL sign language); thesauruses, almanacs, GED test prep materials, and other paperback reference books, books on politics, sociology, psychology, philosophy, science, mathematics and more. Learn more about the project here.