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Books To Prisoners Donation Drive

We're so excited to offer our plant fam an opportunity to engage in simple, daily acts of solidarity with incarcerated folks! Our hope is that our Books To Prisoners Donation Drive challenges stigma surrounding incarceration, connects communities, & sparks interest & engagement in an abolitionist mindset.

The Perks:

When you visit us at in-person events, you'll receive $1 off for every book you donate, for up to 20% off your total purchase of $20 or more. So, 4 books would be $4 off a $20 purchase, 8 books would be $16 off a $80 purchase, & so on! 

Of course, there are certain books which are in demand & certain books which cannot be accepted. Here's more on that:

Most Requested Books:

• Blank journals/composition books (with no spiral bindings)
• Dictionaries, especially paperback collegiate (NOT thesauri)
• Drawing/art instruction (may not contain nudity)
• Erotica (written, not pictorial)
• Games & crafts (including crossword puzzles, Sudoku, origami, & TTRPGS)
• GED preparation books
• Graphic novels & comic books (that do not contain violent content)
• Indigenous history/studies
• Legal self-help (esp. for criminal law)
• LGBTQ books (particularly about being trans, or QTBIPOC)
• Occult / witchcraft / astrology / metaphysics / magic
• Paperback genre fiction (particularly westerns, horror, sci-fi, & fantasy)
• Philosophy
• Prisoner rights & organizing
• True crime
• Urban fiction
• Vocational instruction (e.g., welding, plumbing, carpentry)

How to tell if your donation will be a good match:

Check the condition. Many prisons require “good condition” books & will return other books. Covers must be intact, all pages should be attached to the spine of the book, & if possible, pages should be relatively free of writing & highlighting.

Check the binding and inserts. Prisoners are unable to receive books that include spiral bindings, CDs, DVDs, or extra materials attached to pages (such as pop-up books). Any bookmarks or sticky notes should be removed. Please note: we are only able to accept paperback fiction books, though paperback is preferred in all genres.

Check the date. Prisoners love up-to-date materials as much as everyone else! For many who are incarcerated, books are their best source of information about the world. If you are considering donating books about politics, current events, travel, or technology, please keep this in mind & make plans to donate recently published books.

Check the content. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept donations of books including instructions about obtaining or creating alcohol or drugs, books including pictures with nudity or graphic violence, instructions on tying knots or picking locks, or training in martial arts & hypnosis.

Due to the amount of overstock we have, WE CANNOT ACCEPT BOOKS FROM THE FOLLOWING GENRES: literary/general fiction, historical fiction, romance, classics, drama, short stories, literary anthologies, travel books, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, new age, young adult, & women’s studies. If Books to Prisoners get large amounts of those genres donated, they must re-donate or throw them out – please save them the trip!

Find out more about Books To Prisoners here, or download a PDF of our Books To Prisoners Donation Drive details.