My best Christmas gift this year was my new Kindle Paperwhite: It's hardly left my hands since my parents gave it to me on Christmas morning (thanks, Mom and Dad!). Based on plenty of Twitter and Facebook posts, I know I'm not the only one who got a new e-reader as a toy. If you're like me, though, you may be wondering what to do with your used e-reader. There are plenty of ways to donate your used reader so that others can benefit from your good luck. Most donations are also tax-deductible, so extra bonus to you!
E-Books for Troops: This non-profit, volunteer-based organization collects used Kindles and sends them overseas to deployed troops. They also include e-book gift certificates so soldiers may purchase books of their choosing. Currently, the group only accepts Kindles (second-generation or newer), but they also accept monetary donations that help cover the costs of shipping and gift certificates.
Donate to a classroom: When I taught in inner-city Chicago, few of my students had access to the books they wanted to read. Since free reading is an important curricular component of many reading programs, many schools and teachers will happily accept an e-reader for use in their classroom. Contact your local schools or your teacher friends and see if they will accept them or know a school that would. A quick online search will also yield a long list of schools looking for e-readers.
Donate to a public library: With so many municipal budgets being cut, some libraries are struggling to fund their collections. I did a quick Google search and was dismayed to see how many libraries were soliciting used e-readers. Most of the libraries were in small towns or rural areas, so you may need to shell out a few bucks for shipping if your local libraries aren't looking for donations.
Donate to a senior home/center: One of the best things about e-readers is the ability to change the font size for easy reading. For this reason, some senior homes like to have e-readers set to a large font size available to residents. As a side note, one of my students is currently collecting iPods/MP3 players to donate to senior homes. His music school loads the devices with music from the 1930s and 40s and donates them to Alzheimer units. If you have an iPod that you don't use anymore, consider this as a way to pass on the gift of music.
I'm sure there are other worthy organizations that would be happy to receive e-readers — anyone have any suggestions for great ways to share books with people who don't have easy access?
I should also note that organizations are looking for devices that are in good working condition, generally with any necessary cords and plugs. If your reader is broken, has a cracked screen or isn't easy for you to read on, chances are it won't be any good to anyone else.