With an anticipated 15,000 requests in 2016, our work is only made possible by donors like you. More than 70% of our budget goes directly toward covering the costs of postage and mailing supplies. Learn more about donating to Books to Prisoners.

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Contributing Books

Top requests from prisoners:

Dictionaries (including Spanish-English dictionaries)


Books on starting/running businesses

Trade books (including plumbing, electricity, carpentry, construction, auto mechanics)

Legal self-help

Black history, studies, and fiction

GED preparation materials

Puzzle and game books (including chess, crosswords, sudoku, and role-playing manuals)

Drawing instruction, source books (including tattooing), blank notebooks



Murder mysteries

Horror novels

True crime books

Books on the occult, aliens, conspiracy theories, and New Age


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Books to Prisoners has always operated with minimal staff and relies on volunteers who donate their time and expertise. In 2012, Books to Prisoners won Seattle’s ‘Light a Fire’ award in recognition of its immense volunteer contributions. From answering letters to wrapping packages and sorting books, your help will be deeply appreciated. Volunteer Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings (6 pm to 10 pm), Wednesday mornings (9:30 am-1:30 pm), and Sunday afternoons (1 pm – 5 pm, starting September 1, 2017) in Seattle’s University District.

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