Can books be recycled? It all depends on the type of book, and if you're willing to take one extra step to make them recyclable. You can toss any paperback book in a paper recycling bin, since the whole book is recyclable. But when it comes to hardcover books, you'll need to rip off the cover and spine due to the thick composite and glues used for binding. That cover can be tossed into the trash, while all the interior pages can easily be recycled. Of course, you can always donate books to Goodwill and the Salvation Army, too.