Book Sales

Book donations at the Montclair branch are on hold indefinitely while the library is closed and the COVID-19 issue is on-going. Please hang onto books or see below for some other donation options (some of which may also still be closed), or ship books directly to Better World Books to support literacy causes around the world, although it won’t directly benefit FOML. Check back here for updates – we’ll let you know when we’re ready to accept donations again. Thank you!

One of the main ways FOML raises money for the library is through our on-going book sales at the branch and our periodic one-day book sales.

Books are always for sale at the branch during regular branch hours, too. To stay up-to-date on book sales and other FOML news, like us on Facebook or subscribe to our email newsletter.

You can help by donating your used books in VERY GOOD or BETTER condition to FOML. Due to our very limited storage and display space, we have to be very selective about what book donations we accept.

Please bear in mind the following guidelines for all donations:

  • Books are free of mildew, mold, dirt, stains and water damage.
  • Spines are in good shape.
  • Books have intact covers, all their pages, and the binding is good.
  • Media sets (CDs and DVDs) are complete and have the original case art.
  • Preferably no more than 3 bags or boxes donated per day except by prior arrangement.

Items that sell the best for us:

  • Fiction and non-fiction hardcover books and trade paperbacks published within
    the past 5 years.
  • Classics, for example books on the top 100 lists on sites such as
  • Children’s books, especially award winners; unused activity books.
  • Mass market paperback books – fiction and non-fiction published within the past
    5 years, including those by popular writers, and classics.
  • Recent books on CDs, and DVDs & Blu-Ray discs, video games.
  • Antiquarian, rare and collectible books. Note: Books published by magazines
    are NOT included in this category (for example, Readers Digest Condensed
    books and Time-Life books).

Other items accepted by the Friends of Montclair Library, often for shipment to Better World Books (BWB)*:

  • Fiction and non-fiction hardcover and trade paperbacks with publication dates
    older than 5 years ago, and older mass market paperbacks.
  • Books on CD, DVDs & Blu-Ray discs, video games older than 5 years.
  • Foreign language books (Western script only).
  • Recent (within the last 5 years) reference materials such as travel guides,
    dictionaries and thesauri. Note: NO encyclopedias, please.
  • College textbooks published within the past 10 years.
  • Monographs.

*Note: BWB is a good place to purchase older used books. FOML receives income for the library from the books it sends to BWB.

What to do with things FOML can’t use
If your materials don’t meet the above requirements, please donate them to another organization which can use them, or recycle them if they’re too far gone. (I know, we all love books and it’s hard to admit, but sometimes they’ve lived out their lifecycle and you have to let them go. It’s okay.) The Friends of the Oakland Public Library and Friends of the Berkeley Public Library sometimes have more capacity to accept books than we do. The Bay Area has a wealth of great re-use and recycling opportunities, including Little Free Libraries, the Exchange Zone at the El Cerrito Recycling Center, the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse, City of Berkeley Drop-off Recycling and local thrift shops. Please see each organization’s website for details about what they can and can’t accept. For more donation guidelines and ideas for places to donate materials, see our handy Donation Guidelines PDF. Or try searching for even more places you can donate or recycle materials.

Where/when to drop off books
You may leave donations with library staff during regular library hours. You can ask for a tax receipt. The Friends and the library cannot be responsible for the appraisal or valuation of gifts. PLEASE don’t leave things outside; it’s messy and makes more work for the library staff and volunteers.

If you have any questions at all about donating books, please email us. It’s best to ask first if you’re not sure about something, to save yourself time and trouble.

Thanks! We couldn’t do what we do without your generous donations and support.

What happened to your annual book sales??
As of May 2019, our Spring and Fall book sales are currently on (permanent?) hold while we look for a new place to store books between sales. If you have some clean dry space to lend us, please email In the meantime, we’ll still have books for sale daily on the carts at the library, just no big twice-a-year shindigs.