Do you like to read? this NJ “store” distributes free books to everyone

If you’re a serious reader like me, you’re always trying to find a way to get yourself the next great read.

Maybe you enjoy those little book exchange boxes in New Jersey neighborhoods. Maybe you are one of those people who loves the old school and regularly visits the library. Maybe you borrow from friends. I’m not doing this because I’m very bad at coming back. Or, do you break down and buy all your books from Amazon?

Well, if you live near Jersey City, or even have the guts to drive there, there’s an amazing resource you might not know about.

It’s called Jersey City Free Books. When you go to their website,, you’ll see their direct motto: a community organization that provides something to read with no cost, obligation, registration, or indoctrination.

Jersey City Free Books is an interesting concept and I don’t know if it exists anywhere else in New Jersey. Or even in the countryside.

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Located at 3396, boul. Kennedy. in Jersey City, it is a community book exchange serving Jersey City, Hoboken, all of Hudson County and the entire New York area. And the concept is exactly what it says: free books.

It’s like a library, except you don’t have to render anything. But to show your appreciation, you can donate back. You can also donate things they can sell at fundraisers to keep the operation running.

However, since Jersey City Free Books are dedicated to serious readers, they won’t take everything. For example, they don’t take light fiction like mysteries, thrillers, novels, self-help books, cookbooks, or children’s books.

Also, since they cannot be used by current students, textbooks older than three years are also not accepted.

They point to an urgent need for things like solid recent non-fiction, including college textbooks less than three years old and quality recent fiction. (I guess it’s up to you to determine exactly their definition of “quality”.)

They can always use history books, biographies of historical figures (not celebrities), dictionaries, language learning books and media, science books, and books on photography or art.

And while they don’t have comics, graphic novels, or video DVDs and games to give away, they do accept them as donations because they’re great for selling at flea markets as fundraisers. . Also, the only periodicals they accept are tropical fish magazines and bird or pet magazines.

You don’t have to donate, but most people like the concept so much that they’ll end up giving as well as taking.

There are other rules and restrictions, so before you go there, you should definitely check their webpage. But it’s an idea that probably should exist in other parts of the state, too. (South Jersey, I’m talking to you!)

If you like the idea of ​​a free book “store” and want to help keep them going, you can donate through the Jersey City Free Books GoFundMe page.

The views expressed in the above post are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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About Herbert L. Leonard

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