Freebird book drive for NYC Books Through Bars
While NYC Books Through Bars operating out of Freebird's basement is currently limiting in-person volunteering and drop offs due to COVID-19, book requests continue to pour in from prisons around the country: nearly 300 per week. In response to the challenges of accepting those donations during the pandemic, we have started a monthly program in which specific, in-demand titles can be purchased through Freebird at a discount.
Following October's campaign (collecting 480 books!) that spotlighted the arbitrary nature of censorship in our prisons and schools, we do something out of the ordinary in our monthly book drive. Rather than mix and match with titles and categories, we want to bring awareness to a singular work: the humble English dictionary. The most requested item from incarcerated readers, Books Through Bars can never quite keep enough on the shelves. Especially editions that are current, comprehensive, and reflect language and usage today. The intrinsic value of a dictionary can't be stressed enough. For those incarcerated, it is a window into the outside world and a way to navigate a criminal justice system that purposefully obfuscates through legalese. Language is power. Though we have included other paperback dictionaries in the past, they were woefully dated. Usage changes, new terminology is coined. With the 2022 Merriam-Webster Dictionary (75,000 definitions, 8,000 usage examples, 100 new words), Books Through Bars NYC finally can send copies that are consistent in quality.
Because we are going for quantity on this occasion (in addition to that quality), we are charging $50 this month. We will return to the $30 for three books the following month, so thank you for your ongoing generosity!
Freebird's November 2022 focuses on the Merriam-Webster Dictionary-- $50 helps purchase 10 copies for incarcerated readers
Please note that when Square processes your order they describe it as a "digital delivery". That does not refer to way the books will be delivered to incarcerated readers. Your purchase will go towards NYC Books Through Bars fulfilling requests with physical copies of the aforementioned titles.
PLEASE NOTE that the books purchased through Freebird are ones that will be delivered directly to Books Through Bars so that they can fulfill requests from incarcerated readers.
Looking for a book for yourself? Check out our page at Bookshop.org, including lists of recommended reads from Piper Kerman, Victoria Law, Albert Woodfox, Victor LaValle, Mat Johnson, and others!
Want to give a gift card? Freebird has e-gift cards available here for your birthday and holiday needs (and to redeem for future book drives)!
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