Each year, Book’em places reading volunteers in dozens of classrooms in Nashville’s inner city and gives tens of thousands of books to underserved children through partnerships with 160 schools and community organizations. The majority of these books are donated!
Book'em can use new, like-new, and very gently used children’s books in great condition - from board books to chapter books (ages 0-18).
Currently, we are only able to accept in-person donations by appointment. You can schedule a donation time here to ensure that a staff member is available to meet you and receive your books.
Books may also be shipped to the same address from near and far! If you have questions about book donations, please email us at at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (615) 255-1820 for more information.
We believe that a single book can change a child’s life in profound ways. It is our mission to open the door to this life-changing experience and ignite a passion for reading by providing high quality books where access is limited or nonexistent. Books that best support our mission are new, like-new, and very gently used books in excellent condition for ages 0-18. These books foster a sense of ownership, dignity, and joy in the children who receive them as gifts. A book that you would not give as a gift may be a better fit for a used book store or secondhand store. As much as we’d like to find a perfect match for every book donated, we do not have the bandwidth to handle large quantities of used books. Thank you for your understanding, your generosity, and your drive to help create a more literate Nashville!
Please see the guidelines below for details on books that are not in line with our mission:
- Used books in less than excellent condition – this includes excessively worn, torn, wrinkled, bent, stained, yellowed, water or smoke damaged, underlined, highlighted, written in, or otherwise damaged books, as well as those with missing pages or pieces. We cannot use activity books that have been completed in any capacity or are missing stickers or other components.
- Library books – Even if in relatively good condition, books with library binding, card pockets, or discard stamps do not create the sense of ownership that we work to provide. Additionally, caregivers may mistake these as books that need to be returned to a library rather than gifts for their child.
- Encyclopedia sets
- Outdated reference materials
- Books on cassette
- Magazines, catalogs, & manuals
- Videotapes & DVDs
Donate Books Online
Share the joy of reading from the comfort of your home! Shop for books at local bookstores Parnassus Books, Fairytales Bookstore, The Bookshop, or your favorite online source for children’s books and have them shipped to Book'em at 161 Rains Ave. Nashville, TN 37203. We welcome books of all types and topics, but feel free to check out our Amazon Wish List or Charity List for some of our favorites! Please note your name and/or organization when purchasing online or your gift will remain anonymous.
Anytime you are shopping on Amazon, don't forget to shop at smile.amazon.com - simply select Book'em as your charity of choice and .5% of your eligible purchases will automatically be donated to Book'em! Learn more about AmazonSmile here.
Many of the books Book'em receives are collected through book drives. From a book collection box set out at a lemonade stand, to a classroom project challenging classmates to bring in books from home, to a multi-office corporate competition, book drives come in all shapes and sizes. No matter what it looks like, it's a wonderful way for kids and adults alike to give back to the Nashville community.
Organize a book drive in conjunction with an event, holiday, or just for fun! It can be done with your office, school, place of worship, team, civic group, club, family, neighborhood, or anywhere else you may be involved. Check out our tips and resources below, but feel free to make it your own! If you have any questions about organizing a book drive, please email email@example.com or give us a call at (615) 255-1820.
Tips for a great book drive:
- Make it meaningful. Book'em partners with 160 schools, nonprofits, day care centers, religious institutions, and other organizations in Davidson County to share books with kids who might otherwise have none. A study done by the Handbook of Early Literacy Research found that "in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio of books to children is one book for every 300 children, far below the ratio of 13 books per child in middle- and upper-income neighborhoods." If kids are participating in the drive, explain the importance of sharing with those who have less - there are kids just like them in our community with no books of their own.
- Get creative. Decorate collection boxes or create a snappy poster to spread the word - you may see it featured on our social media platforms! We often reuse boxes when we distribute books, so your designs will spread joy over and over.
- Set a time frame. Pick a single day or week, and encourage everyone to collect books at that time to create a sense of excitement and unity. Limiting it two weeks or less can help keep momentum going throughout the whole drive.
- Turn it into a challenge. Stir up a little friendly competition in your office or Nextdoor group to see who can collect the most books, or set a goal amount of books and inspire your child's grade, classroom, or group of friends to reach it collectively.
- Go virtual. The future is now, and you can hold a book drive from home by encouraging your group to shop for and donate books completely online (see our 'Donate Books Online' section above for some ideas).
- Use the power of social media. Sharing about your book drive on social media can inspire a chain reaction of generosity. We'd love to see what you're up to, too! Please tag us at @Book'em on Facebook, @bookemkids on Instagram, and @BookemNash on Twitter.
Beyond books, we also need supplies to help us process, clean, pack, and send these books out into the world! Please see our Amazon Charity Supply List if you would like to support Book'em in this way.
We can always use cardboard boxes for book packing. Document storage boxes, copy paper cases, beer/wine cases, or any small to medium-sized boxes around that size are always appreciated! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have boxes to donate.
THANK YOU for supporting Book'em and Nashville's kids!
Book’em is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Monetary value of in-kind donations for tax purposes to be determined by donor.