Old books and magazines piling up and gathering dust in one corner of your house? Though once cherished possessions, it is possible that you grow out of certain books. Also, what do you do with the hoard of exam materials that you must have spent many nights mugging from to crack that impossible entrance exam?
What is the best option to get rid of these? Kabadiwala? Waste paper Mart?
Well, how about donating!
Last year, two Delhi-based friends Taranpreet Singh and Anshul Mohan decided to connect those seeking books and those donating/ selling books within the same city by bringing them all on one platform: BookMandee.
All one needs to do is register, create an account, decide the price and post an ad on the website!
The 26-year-old founder had never expected the phenomenal response the portal would receive, which has managed to reach all parts of the country.
“There might be many portals which allow one to donate or sell old books, but what makes our platform stand out is the fact it gives you the option of selling your books at Rs 0, which means you’re donating it,” shares Taranpreet with The Better India (TBI).
Find more about BookMandee here.
Like Taranpreet’s amazing venture, we have a list of five notable initiatives that let you donate your old books.
The beneficiaries can be bibliophiles in search of that one long lost book or underprivileged school students. Let’s spread the joy of reading to those who can’t afford it.
1. Sisters of the People, Delhi
Located at the corner of Lajpat Bhawan, the bookshop named ‘Sisters of the People’ has an eclectic collection of second-hand and donated books in all genres that you can imagine. Because these are pre-owned, mostly donated vintage treasures, the books are sold at half their original price, with some costing as low as ₹10!
Besides spreading the love for vintage books in mint condition, what makes the endeavours of this modest shop genuinely unique is that all the proceedings from the sales are routed towards a more significant cause.
And guess what, you can donate your old books to these fantastic folks!
To connect with the Sisters of the People Book Shop, you can look them up on Instagram. If you are in search of any particular book, you can contact them by sending a text message on WhatsApp at +91 93123 88882.
2. Bookathon, Thiruvananthapuram
A joint initiative by Tejus and HANDS, two charitable organisations that function out of Technopark, Bookathon aims to collect books and set up libraries in government schools and orphanages in Kerala’s capital.
Inviting anyone and everyone willing to donate books, the drive intends to collect 50,000 books which will be used to put together 120 libraries across the city. You can give anything ranging from magazines and children’s storybooks to novels and even academic texts to these folks, who’ll ensure that these reach kids who’d love to read.
Read more about Bookathon and how to donate books here.
School books, college books, story books, board games and even stationery, you can donate any kind of used books to #10000Books team, who’ll personally come and collect it from your home. All you need to do is fill out a form. Your contribution is part of a greater cause, where these donated books will shape the future of countless students from underprivileged sectors across the country.
So if old books are piling up at your home, you know what to do!
Find more about #10000Books here.
4. MyPustak, Kolkata
Allowing people to donate old books ranging from examination materials to regular storybooks and novels, this startup is a social enterprise that offers these books to people by charging only the delivery fees.
MyPustak was founded with the vision of creating a world where no one misses out on reading just because they couldn’t afford to buy expensive books.
Instead of selling your competitive exam materials to a scrap dealer, you can give MyPustak a try. Their volunteers will do doorstep pickups, once you fill up an online form. After meeting their quality checks, these will be stored in MyPustak’s warehouse in Kolkata and listed on the website.
Please note: Those in need of books will have it delivered at minimal shipping costs.
5. India Literacy Project, Bengaluru
Intending to promote 100 per cent literacy in India, this organisation has established libraries for the low-income group communities in Bengaluru in the past. They are also involved in many projects connected with literacy promotion as well as knowledge sharing, in partnership with non-profit organisations all over the country.
They’ll be more than happy to accept books as donations. You can write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 080-23519693. For further details, check out their website.
So the next time you feel inspired by Marie Kondo and stumble upon old and forgotten books you don’t need anymore, you know what to do! Let’s spread the joy of gifting and with that, reading.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)