Like all readers, prisoners have a wide variety of interests, and thus we can use most books, both fiction and nonfiction, but prefer paperbacks due to the high cost of mailing. Also, some prisons only allow the inmates to have paperbacks.

At this time - May, 2015 -  we are most in need of:

- Native American non-fiction 
- James Patterson novels (our most-requested author)
- The Autobiography of Malcolm X (inspirational for men behind bars)
- urban fiction (life on the street and in the hood, but no violent gang action)
- mythologies, especially Celtic, but also other ancient cultures, such as Egyptian
- paperback mysteries, especially those with male detectives
- mafia, true crime (but no rape-murder)
- classic literature from the 19th and 20th centuries
- basic business principles; how to start a business; real estate
- basic math; all types of science
- novels with African-American male protagonists
- Quran; Islam          
- adventure nonfiction
- self-help

We do not need Bibles, as they are provided by prison pastors. However, we do get occasional requests from women prisoners for Christian fiction.

When donating fiction, please keep in mind that 90% of our recipients are men, and thus are interested in novels written by men about male protagonists; at this time we have plenty of novels written for women. 

No prison will accept a book with writing, underlining, or spiral binding.

Out of respect for the inmates, we do not send books which are musty, stained, or outdated.

We can use textbooks if they don’t have underlining or written names/notes in them.

Books can be dropped off at the Merton Center, 5129 Penn Ave, M – F from 10 to 4, Saturday 12 - 4, and during our Sunday work sessions. If you have many heavy boxes, it's best to drive through Gem Way, the alley behind the Center, and park by the black door with BOOK 'EM on it. Call the number on the door for someone to come down and open it, or - if it's during our work session - pound on the door. This way the boxes won't have to be carried down the steps. 

                 THANK YOU!

  NOTE: Construction Junction has an outdoor bin for recycling books.
  Also, the city of Pittsburgh accepts all books in its blue recycling bags.
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