We are so thankful for the large amount of book donations we receive, but at our new location we are much more space-limited. If you are interested in donating books, please see the list below for our most requested genres – we ask that you please prioritize donating books in those categories. If you wish to donate more than two boxes of books and you cannot guarantee that they are from the categories below, PLEASE CONTACT US FIRST (email@example.com). Due to the amount of overstock we have, we accept *few to none* of the following genres: literary/general fiction, historical fiction, romance, classics, drama, short stories, literary anthologies, and women’s studies. If we get large amounts of those genres donated, we have to re-donate or throw them out – please save us the trip.
You can donate books to Books to Prisoners both at Left Bank Books in downtown Seattle (92 Pike St) or at our volunteer location (8500 14th Ave NW).
Most commonly requested books:
Paperback genre fiction (particularly westerns, horror, sci-fi, and fantasy)
Black history/Black studies
Books in Spanish (especially Spanish-language fiction)
Games and crafts (including crossword puzzles, Sudoku, knitting, crochet, and RPG books like Dungeons & Dragons)
Vocational instruction (e.g., welding, plumbing, carpentry)
GED preparation books
Prisoner rights/prisoner organizing
LGBTQ books – particularly affirming books about being trans/genderqueer
Books on the occult/witchcraft/astrology/metaphysics
Blank journals (with no spiral bindings)
Graphic novels & comic books (that do not contain violent content)
Unsure whether your donation will be a good match? Start here!
Check the condition. Many prisons require “good condition” books and will return other books. Covers must be intact, all pages should be attached to the spine of the book, and if possible, pages should be relatively free of writing and 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). Please note: we are only able to accept paperback fiction books, though hardcover non-fiction is acceptable.
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 making a donation of books about politics, current events, travel, or technology, please keep this in mind and 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 and hypnosis.
Have books that meet our criteria?
If you have books that are listed in our “most commonly requested” category above (ex: Dictionaries) and they match the criteria given above for content and condition, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to get your books to us.
Please consider donating $35 with each box of books that you donate, to help us mail your books to prisoners in need. Our true postage cost for mailing a box full of wrapped book packages is approximately $70/box, so your matching donation goes a long way!