Used Book Donations: Where to Go? - Lexya
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Used Book Donations: Where to Go?

Whether it's for a fall clean-up or because you suddenly want to make space at home and get rid of books you no longer use, we present the ideal solution for donating your books quickly, ethically, and sustainably​​.

  • Jean-Michel


  • 22 November 2023
  • 2 min
Used Book Donations: Where to Go?

The ideal option for recycling old books (textbooks, novels, or something else)!  

Until recently, many students at Lexya gave us old books each session to take care of. Initially, we stacked them on shelves waiting to find what to do with them, but at one point, it started to take up too much space.

So, we began researching different places to donate used books or recycle them. And since we know we're not the only ones wanting to get rid of cumbersome books, we thought we'd explain it all to you!

Here are the ideal solutions for donating your books quickly, ethically, and sustainably​​.

Donating Used Books 

The organization "Culture à Partager" is clearly the simplest and most effective solution for donating used books. Whether you're in Quebec, Montreal, Gatineau, or elsewhere in the province, there's a good chance there's a drop-off point near you. This foundation, created in 1996, has redistributed more than two million books to people in need worldwide​​.

Photo credit: Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Culture à Partager has a total of 20 drop-off points and regional collection and sorting centers for your books. To find all their locations, you can consult the interactive map on their website.

It's also an excellent solution if you have many books to give. For example, Saint-Vincent-de-Paul societies often do not take more than one box at a time. However, with Culture à Partager, you can communicate directly with a collection and sorting center and bring them as many boxes as you want during their opening hours​​.

Recycling Used Books 

If your books are too damaged or old to be redistributed, you can deal with "Recyclage Vanier"!

It's a non-profit social economy enterprise specializing in document shredding, all in an environmentally friendly way. Exactly what we were looking for! You can recycle your school books and old novels there. Plus, Recyclage Vanier sells the shreds to a pulp company—a material of great value in the book industry if you want to buy your manual new!

Recycling old books has allowed the company to save more than one million trees since its inception​​.

If you're not near a Culture à Partager or Recyclage Vanier drop-off point, you can always recycle your used books yourself. But be careful, you can't just throw your books in your recycling bin!

Photo Credit: Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

When you recycle a book, it goes to a sorting center near you. At this location, several steps are required to separate the different materials. If you want to learn more about these steps, you can consult this section of the Quebec City website. Alaclair Ensemble even made a video to explain how important it is to check what's in your bin!

Here are the steps to properly recycle your used books:

  • Detach the cover (both the back and the fourth cover of your book). This plastic cover is not recyclable.
  • Cut off the left portion of the book that glues the pages together. The glue makes this paper also non-recyclable.
  • Finally, put all the detached pages in recycling so that they can be recycled into new materials.

Fun fact: Did you know that the paper and cardboard we put in recycling are transformed into newspapers, egg boxes, toilet paper, and various boxes? It's a small gesture but can make a difference. It's worth it​​!

Have you thought about trying to sell your used books? 

If you think your books still have some value, you can always sell them directly on Lexya: the official platform for buying and selling used books used by more than 30,000 students​​.

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