We accept book donations at Freebird books (not through mail)  during our packing sessions (see the Volunteer tab for location and hours).  We are always looking for new and used books in good condition on the following topics:

* African-American history, especially 20th century
* Native American history
* Latin American history
* Radical politics
* Social sciences and psychology
* Dictionaries, thesauruses, and Spanish-English dictionaries
* Learning world languages
* How-to (drawing, chess, sign language…)
* Mayan and Aztec history
* Memoirs and fiction by people of color
* Mythology
* Poetry anthologies

With few exceptions, we want only paperbacks since most prisons do not accept hardcover books and they are expensive to mail.

Books we do not take are:

Children’s books, heavy hardcover books; encyclopedias; religious books, including Bibles; legal books (except legal dictionaries); old magazines (besides National Geographic); white supremacist literature or anything advocating racial animosity, sexism or homophobia; business books; computer books;  mass market fiction (such as Danielle Steele and Sidney Sheldon).

Check out our BookMooch wishlist for a sense of the types of books we need the most.


Books Through Bars would not exist without the help of people who donate money for postage costs.
Contributions are tax-deductible.
Make checks payable to ABC No Rio, and send to:

c/o ABC No Rio
156 Rivington Street
New York, NY 10002

Do NOT make your checks out to Books Through Bars!
Make them out to ABC No Rio.

Alternatively, you can donate online through the PayPal link on the top-right corner of this our web site that says “Donate”.


The main items we can always use more of are heavy paper bags  to package books (Trader Joes and Whole Foods have good bags for this purpose), rolls of thick brown paper from Staples, heavy-duty packaging tape, pens, and batteries. Stamps have been previously requested, but we now utilize APC (post office machine) or bar-coded postage in media mail denominations, which helps to speed up getting books out to people who need them. With that in mind, any donations go straight into these costs.

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