APBP mails free books to people imprisoned in six states: West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Maryland. We serve over 200 facilities in the region, and we receive around 100 requests per week. Since 2005, we have mailed over 30,000 books.
The book project is an all-volunteer, donation-based effort. Nearly every book we send has been donated to us and is housed in our work space at the Aull Center, a space generously provided by Morgantown Public Library. A small army of dedicated volunteers opens letters, matches requests to books, and wraps books for mailing.
Book requests should be mailed to our post office box: APBP, PO Box 601, Morgantown, WV 26507.
Impact of the Book Project
As these letter writers attest, the books we mail are lifelines to people in prison, especially those who are indigent or who lack adequate libraries and education on the inside. A single book can also reach many more people than the original recipient: mailed books are often passed around and eventually donated to prison libraries.
“I would love 2 receive some of your free books. My family has little money so I can’t afford books 2 read. I love reading because it takes your mind from being locked up, and it’s fundamental.”
“I do not have any funds (as you notice with the institution providing the postage fee on the outer envelope). And I was just wondering just what type of books you could offer for free, because more than anything at the moment—I very much need a Dictionary. I enjoy writing but not very good at spelling.”
“We have a small library here, but all they have is fiction. I am a bigger fan of non-fiction, though. I love learning new stuff because I want to get out better and smarter than I came in. They don’t have any classes here so I have to rely on books and magazines from the ‘outside.’”
“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity. You have indeed put some sunshine in my rather drab life imprisoned as I am here on Death Row. . . There will be several other inmates here on Death Row that will be very glad to get a chance to read something new that they have an interest in.”
“I received your book, To Kill a Mockingbird, one week ago today. It was an excellent book, one I had never read before. . . . I have passed the book along to another already, and look to continue so until I donate it to our library.”