Prisoners Literature Project

Prisoner Letters

What kinds of books do people ask for?

The most common requests are for genre fiction (thrillers, romance, sci-fi/fantasy, etc), self-help, business, drawing, graphic novels, science, GED material, exercise, almanacs and so much more. People also ask for some very specific topics and we do our best to fulfill the spirit of the inquiry.

Here is a sample of letters that volunteers responded to recently.


Fall 23/Winter 24 Thank you letters

We are happy to share the following letters that we received during the holidays from book recipients.


Summer 2023 Thank You Letters

We’re pleased to share some letters that we’ve received over this past summer from book recipients. As noted, in the letter, word gets around about our program and the flow of letters to PLP is non-stop. The fact that readers take the time to share their appreciation for our efforts (using an often precious stamp) is powerful and keeps us intent on our mission to share the joys of books and reading.


PLP Thank You Letters — Winter 2023

We’re very happy to share some of the wonderful thank you letters we’ve received over the past months. These notes have helped keep us warm this unusually cold and wet California winter. Enjoy!


PLP Thank You Letters — Summer 2022

Wow! This is a particularly great batch of letters we’ve received recently. It is our good fortune to have such appreciative book recipients and readers.


PLP thank you letters — Spring 2022

We’re so happy to share some more notes of appreciation that we’ve received from book recipients over the past couple of months. Joy oh joy we love to find these kind words tucked in the hundreds of letters we receive each month!


PLP thank you letters — Winter 2022

We’re welcoming in the new year with some more uplifting letters and warm holiday greetings from book recipients. It’s always a treat to pull a letter from the current stack and find artwork or kind words from someone who appreciates our efforts. It’s also gratifying because it confirms our books are making it into the hands of eager readers.

We sometimes get requests for very specific books that we stock via remainder orders. Usually someone has seen the book because another incarcerated person at their facility has received it. Word gets out! Sometimes there’s a flurry of letters from a specific prison because our program information has been passed along. We also stamp the inside of books with our address so even if the book recipient doesn’t receive the invoice with the nice note from a volunteer that we send (some prisons are really strict -ugh) they will know that the books came from us. Whatever it takes!


Gratitude Poem

We love getting feedback from book recipients. This arrived in the mail recently and we are sharing it here with the permission of author.


PLP thank you letters – Fall 2021!

Volunteers have continued to send out many, many packages each month in response to letters received from incarcerated people. They often comment that their facility libraries are still closed due to COVID. So, our efforts here at the Prisoners Literature Project continue to be a lifeline for keen readers. Here are some thank you notes that we’ve received from happy book recipients. We LOVE these letters!


A PLP ‘thank you’ – bead art!

Here’s some wonderful bead art sent to us, as a ‘thank you’ from an incarcerated person receiving books from the PLP.



About the Prisoners Literature Project

The Prisoners Literature Project is an inclusive, all-volunteer, grassroots nonprofit whose purpose is to encourage reading, the pursuit of knowledge, and self-determination among incarcerated people. By sending free reading materials to those behind bars, PLP aims to foster learning and critical thinking and help people prepare to lead successful lives after incarceration. We believe that all people have a right to read.

Please consider donating to the PLP or volunteering your time (if you live in the Bay Area, CA!) to help us answer letters from prisoners who write us from all over the United States.

Prisoners – want books?

Mailing address for U.S. prisoner book requests: Prisoner Literature Project c/o Bound Together Books 1369 Haight St San Francisco, CA 94117 There's more info here on what else prisoners need to include with their requests.