Donate

Reading With Conviction needs your support. There are two ways you can help today:

Donate Money

Cash donations allow us to purchase the specific books that prison libraries and literacy programs need most. 100% of your donation will go to purchase books. A donation of $20 will result in 8-10 good quality hardback books being added to library shelves. Donations are processed through Paypal but don't require a Paypal account. Any major credit card will work.

Donate Books

If you have a lot of books at home, chances are you have some we could use! Gather up all your books at home that meet our specifications, box them up, and send us an email via the contact form. If you are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, we will either arrange for a pickup or let you know where they can be dropped off.

Donating anything to a prison is not a simple matter, and books are no exception. To ensure that our contributions make it to the shelves of prison libraries while imposing a minimal amount of time and expense on the very busy employees of the TDCJ, we ask that you limit your donations to the following:

  • Hardback contemporary fiction - these should be in good condition, and should be of a recent enough vintage that you are likely to have seen the same book on the shelves of your local Barnes & Noble in the last 10 years or so. Please do not submit paperbacks - they don’t hold up to library usage.
  • Career guidance. Books of recent vintage on careers and vocational guidance. Large format paperbacks are okay if they are in excellent condition. Keep in mind that the prison has to send paperbacks out for binding, which is an added expense and a delay in reaching the shelf. A paperback book that gets this treatment needs to be very worthy.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse treatment/self-help. Again, please make sure the books are current and worthy, and consider paperback donations carefully.

If you’re wondering whether a book is indeed worthy, checking its category rating on Amazon.com is an easy test. For example, if I had a copy of the book Beyond the Influence: Understanding and Defeating Alcoholism by Karen Ketcham, I could locate it on Amazon.com and see that it is ranked number 23 in the Recover/Alcoholism category. Not great, but probably good enough. Given a choice, the prison would probably prefer the top-rated Alcoholics Anonymous - Big Book 4th Edition

Please use common sense. Even if it’s contemporary fiction, a book that has detailed instructions on building a methamphetamine lab, or a prison distillery, is probably not an appropriate contribution. Writing your name and address on the inside cover of the books is likewise probably a bad idea. Instructions for how to deliver the books can be found in the FAQ.

Please note: If your donated books aren’t suitable for the prison library, they will be sold and the proceeds used for shipping costs. In the future I hope to find additional outlets for books that are not library-quality, but that’s TBD.