Sending books is a labor intensive process
“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.”
It starts with a letter from an incarcerated person asking for some books. Requests from readers are wide ranging in genre — self-help, mysteries, fantasy, drawing primers, religion, history, grammar & writing books.
Subterranean Books receives these letters on our behalf because we cannot legally receive them directly. On our weekly mail run, we often purchase dictionaries and thesauri at the same time; our most frequently requested items.
We fill the requests from our donated collection. We receive donations from individuals, Subterranean Bookstore, and the University City Library. Books outside the interest of our readers, we try to sell to used book vendors.
The Paper Work
Each book package contains an address label, an inventory sheet of the contents, a list of the subjects in our collection, and a note from us asking for feedback from our readers.
We usually send three books per package to keep postage costs to under four dollars. Each package requires careful alignment and deftly applied packing tape to withstand the rigors of media postage delivery.
The clerks at the local U.S.P.S. label and weigh our packages with care.