Book Sales

Update 7/3/21: We are now accepting book donations again and selling books on the carts in front of the library — thank you! Please read our updated guidelines below to make sure your donation benefits the library as much as possible.

One of the main ways FOML raises money for the library is through our on-going book sales at the branch. A carefully curated selection of books is always for sale on carts at the branch during regular branch hours.

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
  • Preferably no more than 2 bags or boxes donated per day except by prior arrangement
  • Please DO NOT donate: Textbooks, encyclopedias, books published by magazines (e.g. Readers Digest Condensed Books or Time-Life books), any type of CD or DVD (including audiobooks)

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

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 and mass market paperbacks
  • Foreign language books (Western script only)
  • Recent reference materials such as travel guides, dictionaries and thesauri. Note: NO encyclopedias, please.
  • Monographs
  • Antiquarian, rare and collectible books

*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. (We 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, we no longer hold our big Spring and Fall book sales due to lack of storage space. We’ll still have books for sale daily on the carts at the library, just no big twice-a-year shindigs. To stay up-to-date on book sales and other FOML news, like us on Facebook or subscribe to our email newsletter.

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