In addition to the books we always need, we occasionally get requests for books that are rarely donated—and that would make a significant difference to the woman making the request.

You can help by ordering from our Amazon Wish List or purchasing from any bookstore
The next time you place an order, please add one (or more) of the books on the list. This will help you meet the minimum for free shipping and the books for incarcerated women will be sent directly to our address.

Also browse our special requests below (updated October 30, 2017)
They’re organized in four categories—fiction, nonfiction, spiritual/self-care and educational—and requests made within the last week are in blue at the top. Some books are also on the wish list, and some may be on your shelves, in that box in the basement or at the next garage sale you hit.

And remember, there are many kinds of books we always need—they often don’t even make it to a bookcase before being grabbed to fulfill a request.

Please bookmark this page on your smartphone for easy reference.

If you can donate any of these books, please add a note that they’re from the Special Requests list. This will help us match the items to the requests faster. All books must be paperback. Used books in good condition are fine unless noted. (Some prisons require books in new or like-new condition.)

Fiction, etc.

  • Fiction of all kinds in large print (used and new)

Nonfiction, etc.

  • Bruce Lee/Jeet Kune Do martial art and philosophy
  • Nonfiction of all kinds in large print (used and new)

Spiritual, self-care, etc.

  • Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book
  • Study Bibles, esp. large print, NLT, Life Application and others (multiple requests, used and new)
  • PTSD in large print
  • Multiple Personality Disorder in large print 
  • Women survivors of child sexual abuse in large print
  • Jesus Calling Devotional Bible
  • Large print Bibles, esp. NIV, KJV and NKJV (multiple requests, used and new)
  • Wicca (multiple requests)
  • Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (multiple requests)
  • Spiritual and self-care of all kinds in large print (used and new)


Educational, etc.

  • How to build a carburetor/small engine repair
  • Service dogs (multiple requests)
  • GED math review
  • Ivan Denison, Flipping Your HABE (or other books on overturning a conviction)
  • Dental hygienist career
  • Nursing careers—especially LPN, RN and Nursing Assistant (multiple requests)
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V (or other recent edition)
  • Family law (especially Florida law)
  • Criminal law (multiple requests)
  • Educational materials of all kinds in large print (used and new)

You can drop off your books 2-5 pm any Saturday or Sunday

4511 N. Hermitage Ave.
(Hermitage and Sunnyside)
Only two blocks from the Montrose Brown Line stop and plenty of free street parking

To mail books, please send them by USPS (Media Mail)

Chicago Books to Women in Prison
4511 N. Hermitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640

Please ask if you’d like a tax donation receipt.

Do you have questions or need to make special arrangements? Get in touch at

1,192 packages so far in 2018!

That’s 1,114 packages of books and 78 blank journals to incarcerated women across the country. In 2017 we sent 4,690 packages (4,086 packages of books and 604 blank journals). Big thanks to all our supporters! (updated March 19, 2018)

Donate quickly and easily

Or send your check or money order to 4511 N. Hermitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60640. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your gift may be tax-deductible.

Help us get the most wanted books!

Learn what we’re looking for now

• Shop our wish list at Bookends & Beginnings, a great independent bookstore

• Shop our Amazon wish list (feel free to buy from the list at other stores)

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