Give Books

Each year, Book'em gives 100,000+ books to underserved children through partnerships with 180 schools and community organizations. The majority of these books are donated!

Book'em can use new and like-new children's books in great condition - from board books to chapter books (ages 0-18).

How to Donate:

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 books@bookem-kids.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
  • Textbooks
  • Outdated reference materials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 BooksFairytales BookstoreThe 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 for some of our favorites! Please note your name and/or organization when purchasing online or your gift will remain anonymous.

scbwibookdrive
Harding Academy group 1crop

Book Drives

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! The general guidelines we typically give can be found below. If you have any other questions about organizing a book drive, please email books@bookem-kids.org or give us a call at (615) 255-1820.

Book Drive Info & Guidelines

One of Book’em’s main programs is called Books for Nashville’s Kids. We accept book donations from community members who hold book drives or donate books from their personal collections, then prepare the books to go out to underserved and under-resourced children throughout Davidson County.

Books We Accept: This is your drive so you can make it as creative or streamlined as you like! We will accept as many books as you are able to gather. We are always in need of books in excellent condition for children and teens ages 0-18, especially in the preschool-6th grade range. Participants can donate their own books or purchase books to be donated through an Amazon Registry link we can create for your company if you are interested in that. More info on virtual drives below!

Books To Avoid: We accept most books for children ages 0-18. However, here is a short list of books that are not in line with our mission as sometimes it is more helpful to know what to avoid:

  • 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
  • Textbooks
  • Outdated reference materials
  • Books on cassette
  • Magazines, catalogs, & manuals
  • Videotapes & DVDs

Virtual Book Drives - If there's anyone who wants to contribute but doesn't have any books on hand to donate, they can purchase books from Book'em's Amazon wish list. We have found this to be an easy way folks can help our organization out and is also great because the books are delivered straight to our office. However, if you want to track the number of books purchased and sent to us by your members, it will be easier to track if we create a link to a private Amazon Registry utilized only by your members. If you'd like to do that, let us know.

Here is a flyer from a book drive that another company conducted. They gave us permission to provide it as an example and it includes a QR code to our Amazon Charity List. (Amazon Charity lists no longer exist so that code may not take you anywhere, but you could make your QR code direct to the private registry list we create for you if you choose to go that route). Again, your drive can be as simple or creative as you would like. It is not necessary to have a flyer like this, but if it is helpful, that is great!

Donation Date and Instructions:  Unfortunately, we do not have the bandwidth to pick up books so you or someone within your company will need to coordinate a drop-off at our office. Please schedule a donation appointment at https://bit.ly/BookDonationCalendar. Over the last several years, we have outgrown our space and we have turned to this online calendar to help us keep the flow of books in and out of the organization manageable.

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.

Book Drive Resources

Please feel free to utilize the resources in the links below:

Book Drop Box Sign

curreyingrambookdrive

Beyond books, we also need supplies to help us process, clean, pack, and send these books out into the world! Please see our Amazon 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 books@bookem-kids.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.

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