Donate Books


Book drop-off: Books can be dropped off at our office (directions) during volunteer hours.

Limit: Maximum 4 boxes or bags. We have extremely limited storage!

Mailing Books to PBP: We accept book donations by mail. Our address is at the bottom of this page. Because shipping books can be expensive, we strongly encourage you to consider donating your books to one of our sister “books to prisoners” programs that may be geographically closer to you or to a local jail or prison. Please review our guidelines carefully or email before mailing your books. We cannot return books that we find inappropriate.

Books we can and can’t use: Prison restrictions and prisoner requests determine which books are sent to prisoners and which are not. This table summarizes our needs, but it is not exhaustive. Please email if you have any questions.

Books we cannot use are passed onto Better World Books or Big Hearted Books. These organizations either sell them on our behalf, pass them onto other organizations that can use them or recycle them if they are unusable.

 We especially need... We CANNOT USE...
**** This list is not exhaustive. We can probably use subjects not listed here as well as those listed. ****
General GuidelinesPaperback
Gently-used, like new or brand-new condition
Self published books written for the prison population are OK
Advance reading and review copies are OK
Spiral or comb bound
Multi-level sets - encyclopedias, etc
Self-published (unless written for the prison population)
Missing pages or covers
Smell musty
Yellowed, or have brittle spines
Too old to have a UPC on back cover
Have writing/notes in the margins (light highlighting is OK)
Children's picture books
FictionRecent best-sellers
Action/Adventure (James Patterson, Dean Koontz, etc)
Ethnic (Af-Am, Native-Am, Hispanic)
Historic Fiction
Manga/graphic novels
Myths & Legends
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Urban Fiction
Fiction targeted exclusively to women
College literature compilations
Have weapons on the cover
Romance novels
Esoteric novels prisoners are unlikely to ask for
Non-FictionWe can use most paperback non-fiction, especially...
Art, especially drawing
Computer science - popular programming languages published in the last 6 years
Cultural – African American, Hispanic, Native American
Exercise (esp weight lifting and yoga)
Foreign language study and books in Spanish
Games (Sudoku, puzzles, chess, etc)
Gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender studies
Health - General
History & current events
Legal dictionaries and basic criminal law
Psychology & self help
Secret societies and the occult (e.g., Masons, Rosicrucian Order, extra terrestrials, etc.)
Small business startup
Social Sciences (archaeology, anthropology, philosophy, activism, political science)
Spirituality & Religion – especially
- Bible concordances & dictionaries
- Islam
- non-mainstream religions such as Wicca, Paganism etc,
- New Age spirituality
The Autobiography of Malcolm X and works about or by MLK & Barack Obama
Trades (i.e. woodworking, automotive, etc.)
Travel essays and travelogues
Academic journals
Computer science more than 6 years old
Legal journals and attorney-level legal reference. Also books about non-criminal law (divorce, bankruptcy, etc). Small business OK.
Textbooks more than 10 years old
Travel guides (travel essays and travelogues OK)
True crime
Written specifically for women
ReferenceDictionaries (English)
Almanacs less than 10 years old
Single volume encyclopedias
Foreign language dictionaries
GED study guides
Spanish/English dictionaries and books in Spanish
Writing reference - grammar guides, etc.
Encyclopedias and similar hard-cover book sets
Legal Journals
GRE and grad-school level test prep books