Hold a Book Drive

Get involved with The Book Truck by holding a book drive.

Hold a book drive! Here’s how to get started.

1) Get in touch with The Book Truck. If you (or your group) decide to hold a book drive, let us know through our contact page. We will send you all the helpful materials you need to get the ball rolling.

2) Plan the details of your drive. Decide WHO you will ask for books. You could…

  • Hold a book drive at your school, religious center, or in your neighborhood.
  • Ask for books from your friends and family.
  • Ask guests at an event, like your birthday party or bar/bat mitzvah, to donate books.

Next, decide WHERE, WHEN, and for HOW LONG to hold the drive (PRO TIP: 1-2 week book drives with a lot of advertising work well).

3) Get the word out. Decide how you will tell people about the book drive. You could…

  • Write a detailed e-mail and send to friends/family
  • Announce your book drive in a group setting, like a school assembly or place of worship
  • Post flyers at your school or other local places

4) *Optional* Organize a Book Sort. If you would like to help us get the books 100% ready to head out on the truck, contact us about organizing a Book Sort with you and a small group of your friends.

5) Prepare books and arrange for drop off.

  • Go through donated books and sort out any that are too old, too young, or damaged (they will need to be donated elsewhere). For more information, see types of books to avoid below. 
  • Pack the books in small (banker-sized) boxes or sturdy bags. 
  • Get back in touch with us at info@thebooktruck.org and arrange a drop off.

“There’s no such thing as a kid who hates reading. There are kids who love reading and kids who are reading the wrong books.”

– James Patterson

Book drive FAQ’s


How do I write a promotional email?

Sending e-mails to your family, friends, or neighbors is a great way to spread the word about your book drive. Your e-mail should generally include:

  • An introduction of yourself or your group (WHO ARE YOU?)
  • A short description of what The Book Truck does.
  • A description of your book drive, such as:
    • The exact location and date of your book drive, or where the books can be shipped
    • A description of the books you are looking for (refer to the next section: “What kind of books should we collect?”)
    • The kinds of books you are NOT looking for (refer to the section: What kind of books should we avoid?)
What kind of books do you collect?

Because we only distribute books to teens, we have strict requirements about the books that can be donated to The Book Truck. We accept…

  • Books in EXCELLENT CONDITION (new or like new)

  • Books that interest TEENS

  • Some of your and your friends’ favorite books

  • Books that feature characters of diverse ethnicities (like books by Walter Dean Myers, Jacqueline Woodson or Matt de la Pena)

  • Books about sports

  • Books about real life problems

  • Graphic novels

  • Self-help books

  • Books recently made into movies

What kind of books should we avoid?
  • Textbooks

  • Old/damaged books

  • Books in a series that don’t include the first book (i.e. Harry Potter 4 without also giving 1-3)

  • Books aimed at young kids or adults (with the exception of adult books that also appeal to teens, like Stephen King and

  • Nicholas Sparks)

    You can also ask for cash donations, which will allow us to buy the types of books listed above or others on our wish list.

Empowering teens around books paves the way toward a brighter future.

We help teens fall in love with reading who may never do so without The Book Truck, giving them a chance to create a pathway out of poverty.

Are you a teen who loves reading and talking about books?

Become a volunteer at our teen literacy events! We'll train you to become an official book expert to help other teens find and take home the perfect books. Once you're trained, you'll be able to volunteer at any of our teen literacy events across LA County.