A bedtime story


In South Africa we have a pressing need to develop a national culture of reading. To fall in love with reading, children need access to books. Not just educational books, but books that stimulate their minds, entertain and delight them and stir their creativity and imagination. The easiest way to help is to donate books or support a literacy organisation.

Just over 50% of South African families own no books for recreational or leisure time reading.  

It’s essential to publish and distribute books in the official languages. It’s also important for all children to become fluent in English so they can enter the global workplace. Once the wonderful world of books is opened up to a child you will give them a gift that lasts a lifetime.

Has your child outgrown his picture books or early readers? Donate your old children’s books to your local library, children’s hospital or shelter. Alternatively, donate your books to an organisation that will distribute them to schools and organisations in need.




  • Nal’ ibali – They have a list of organisations needing books.
  • The Link Literacy Project are based in Johannesburg and they run reading classes every week at selected schools. They require primary school books.
  • Shine Literacy are a children’s literacy organisation based in Cape Town and Durban and there are many ways you can get involved. T: +27 (0) 21 762 4320or email: Durban:
  • The Bookery are Cape Town based but they open children’s libraries around the country. Contact them for more info on  +27 (0) 21 461 4189 or email:
  • Steve Biko Centre in King Williams Town. Their Johannesburg office will collect the books from you.
  • National Library of South Africa –
  • To donate money towards books in native languages – or email Carole Bloch at
  • International Book Giving Day –
  • Biblionef SA – They donate new books through your donations
  • help2read – This developmental organisation addresses child literacy by providing supplementary literacy tutoring in disadvantaged primary schools through a largely volunteer workforce.
  • Book Dash do wonderful work by creating children’s books in a day through volunteeers in the writing, graphic design, editing and illustration fields. Find out how you can get involved. 
  • Youth Potential South Africa (YOUPSA) share the love of reading in the rural Eastern Cape and establish youth-run Mobile Village Libraries & Reading Clubs. Children in this area have no access to books for reading for pleasure other than through YOUPSA. They’re looking for books in English, Afrikaans & isiXhosa.

Let us know if you are an organisation providing books for children to read and we’ll add you to this list.



  1. help2read is a developmental organisation founded in 2005 which uses a two pronged approach to social development in South Africa. It addresses child literacy by providing supplementary literacy tutoring in under resourced public primary schools through a largely volunteer workforce.

    Kindly add our website-

      • Hi Don
        Thanks for contacting us. We don’t have any projects on the go at the moment but will be in touch if we do. In the meantime perhaps get in touch with your local library and ask if they require any help such as reading to children or setting up community libraries. It’s helpful if you explain what skills you have and what tasks you are able to help with.
        Best of luck!

  2. Thanks for getting in touch with us – it looks like you do amazing work and we’ve added you to our list. Let us know if there are any ways we can support you further. Love The Book Tree.

  3. Viki Neilson

    Hi, we would like to run a drive at work from now until March next year to collect books and then donate them to a worthy cause. Please let me know the procedure to be followed and how the hand over of the books will take place.
    Many thanks,

    • Hi Viki
      What a great initiative. There are two ways to to this. You could collect funds and donate these to and they will use the funds to print and distribute books to children in need. The books have been created for free by professional writers, illustrators, editors and designers. You can look at some of the books on their website.
      You could collect books and either send them to a school or an adult library in your business area or contact one of the great organisations which co-ordinate book runs. You could try and ask them for a worthy recipient for next year’s International Book Giving Day or you can contact one of the agencies listed above this article, such as
      Let us know if you need further help and good luck.

  4. Chantelle

    We’re a private school based in Midrand, Gauteng and we have textbooks that is no longer in use. Any idea of a school or organisation that may have a use for them?

  5. Tina

    Good day

    I would like to donate some intermediate and high school text books and study aids.
    I also have some childrens reading books for toddlers.

    Will you be able to collect from my residence?
    I live in Lenasia south, Johannesburg.

    Looking forward to your reply.

    Kind regards

  6. Linda Bruce


    I am about 500 copies of a book I wrote and published in 2008 through Random House Struik. It is called Motherhood and Me and is a book that guides new mothers through the transition and challenges of motherhood. I would like to donate these books to libraries around South Africa, but I am not sure how to do that. Can you advise me please.

    Thank you



  7. Gugu

    Hi. My name is Gugu Thumbu, i am a teacher libraria. Our school library is functioning but we don’t have enough books for learners, getting the learner involved in more reading will improve their literacy and performance. Our school (Sikhutsele Primary school )is based in mpumalanga -Nelspruit and is located in Barberton, it starts from grade R to grade 9, is a government non paying fee school. Please help me get books donation for our school library, thank you in advance. My contact number is 0824175699.

    • Hi Gugu
      I have forwarded your request to a few individuals who may be able to help. Please also approach the organisations on the Donate page with your request. We will email you with any replies and advice. It sounds like you are doing a great job! Keep it up and keep us posted with your progress.

  8. Blanche

    Hello, I have some tertiary textbooks to donate, they are brand new but have to be replaced this year by new editions. They would need to be collected from our Port Elizabeth campus. Please contact me if you know of any charities that would need these.

  9. Nathan

    We cleaned up a bit at home and have a bunch of textbooks, fiction and non-fiction books. Seemed like a shame to throw it away. Could you advise on a place that might be interested in receiving these books?

    • Hi Nathan
      You don’t mention if they are children’s books – if so you may have a local school in your area that could benefit from the books or approach your local library as they may sell them to raise funds to keep running. Other than that any of the organisations on the Donate a Book Page will be happy for books.
      Good luck!

  10. Quinton Mawing

    Hi I am currently clearing out study materials/ books of my daughters, marketing & Accounting degrees, Unisa & UJ respectively, if anyone requires these materials to assist a student to progress & achieve their ” Goals” by donating these books.Please contact me on the abovementioned email address or advise if the books can be collected or dropped off within the Johannesburg (east rand) area.


  11. Tsholo

    Good afternoon,

    There are two ladies i know from where i live, one is doing a mobile library of kids in Alexandra township and has reading sessions on Saturdays and one runs an after school project from or church in Alexandra. Should anyone wish to donate books or study materials for primary school kids may you kindly contact me.

    Your help will be highly appreciated.

    kind regards,
    Tsholo molefe

    • Hi Tsholo
      What a wonderful initiative! If anyone has PRIMARY SCHOOL books or study materials please help her out.
      We will keep your details should anyone call with children’s books to donate.
      Keep us posted.

  12. Riette Snyman

    We at high school Postmasburg have a lot of text and reading books we want to donate. Can you maybe help me with someone who would be interested?

  13. Debbie Pretorius


    I am looking for an organisation in the Pretoria/ Johannesburg area that is looking for second hand books, not children but mostly fiction, that is distributed to the underprivileged or elderly. I am happy to deliver them somewhere.


    • Hi Debbie
      Organisations looking for second hand books in Pretoria and Johannesburg could either be your local library, old age homes or hospitals. They often hold book sales to raise much-needed funds. You can also try some of the organisations listed on our Donate page above.
      Good luck!

  14. Kgomotso Dibetso


    we recently just started a book club in soweto at Ikusasalethu Sec School and we are in need of fiction and non-fiction books, please assist us in any way if you can please

  15. Urban Astronauts Book Reading Club


    We have started a book club in Soweto called Urban Astronauts Book Reading Club and we have over 25 high school learners in this project and we are in need of fictional, non fiction and Autobiography books. If anyone can assist us we will appreciate that. Thank you in advance
    Contacts: 084 968 3251

    • Hello Urban Astronauts
      We really love the name of your book club. Are you based at a school? We have a small parcel of books for you and will be in touch to organise collection. If anyone in the Book Tree community would like to donate to the Urban Astronauts please be in touch.
      Happy reading!

  16. Lillian

    Peace be unto you
    I am a compulsive reader from a rural in Polokwane and I am establishing a reading club for children in my village. I have talked to parents and 5 of them volunteered to invest their time on the project and support children’s literacy. We hope to offer reading sessions to children from the age of 2-12. So far 20 children are interested in attending the reading sessions. Kindly please help us set up the book club. We have space in our local church but no resources such age appropriate books, book shelves, carpets, cushions, stationery and story props. Or please refer us to appropriate organisations. I have contacted some of the organisation on the list you have provided and I am still waiting for their response. My contact number is 0820562725. Kind regards

  17. Precious Simelane

    Hy my name is Precious. Im currently teaching at primary school in Mpumalanga. Our school is in a farm with no library. I’m currently looking for library books to start a little library for our learners and to assist our learners with reading. Even textbooks would be appriaciated.

  18. Fern

    Hi there. I am an ex teacher trainer. I have wonderful resources books to donate. Senior school history and English. Anyone? I’m in Johannesburg

  19. Good day!
    My name is Martin Mokgoatjana from Limpopo province, South Africa. I have just finished writing a book for children that seeks to educate kids on the value of money, how to handle it and most importantly how to generate it. In the book I further aim to promote entrepreneurship and help children to consider self employment as a better alternative to employment.

    I strongly believe that the book is set to change the general perspective that one needs employment to make in life, while we should train children to be self-sustainable and job creators. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIR) is also feared to replace human labour in the work place, but I believe business minded individuals could identify opportunities within FIR and play vital roles in the economy.

    I then wish to distribute, as a self published author, copies of the book to less fortunate kids such as orphans or those whose parents could not afford a book which they see as luxury and not a necessity. I understand that your organization advocates for children’s rights to basic education. I am of the strong opinion that basic education is versatile and goes beyond the classroom or parts that are not included in the curriculum.

    I therefore, humbly request your support (as an disadvantaged author) and assistance that you could ask your donors to buy few copies of the book to donate to deserving communities since I do not have resources and capital to print copies and donate them self.

    Should this be looked at a positive view, I am willing to send a formal and corporate proposal. I will also send you the soft copy of the book (tiled Children, Money & Business # Grooming Business Gurus Of Tomorrow) once I am done with graphic design.

    Anticipating to hear from you.
    Mobile Number: 079 189 1778

    • Dear Martin
      This sounds like a very worthwhile book for young children to read. While we do wholeheartedly support children’s literacy – we promote it through media initiatives and other established children’s literacy foundations listed on this page. We are not publishers nor do we have access to donors or any funding. You would have to pursue the path to publication and funding via the donors yourself. Your support would depend on your writing credentials and finance experience. We can suggest contacting as they have a programme where they publish short children’s books. Wishing you the best of luck!

  20. Dear Corinne,
    I would like to ask you to kindly add ‘Youth Potential South Africa – YOUPSA’ to your list of organisations for book donations. We share the love of reading in the rural Eastern Cape and establish youth-run Mobile Village Libraries & Reading Clubs. The children have no access to books for reading for pleasure other than through YOUPSA. For our children to keep reading, we need donations of books in English, Afrikaans & isiXhosa.
    Please view a brief video about our literacy initiatives:
    and view our website and Facebook page:
    Thank you and with warm regards,
    Alexis Salaman

    • Hi Alexis
      Your organisation sounds like it does wonderful and much-needed work. We hope you are managing to work with the children in these challenging times. We have added you to our donations list. Best wishes!

  21. Aubrey Lotriet

    Hi I have used engineering textbooks that I want to donate, but do not know where. Could you kindly advise where I can take these books?

  22. Michelle

    Hi there ..looking to donate to those in need .Im in on the East Rand Jhb area.. I have some childrens christian reading books and christian teaching teaching aids

    Also have some secular and christian reading books to add to older children library

    • HI Michelle
      We don’t distribute books – please look at the various organisations on our Book Donations page and contact them directly to see if there is any home for your books. Otherwise you could try your local churches and they may be able to use them.
      Have a great day!

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