We Send Free Books to Prisoners

We have always sent free books to prisoners. In the 90s, we sent dozens of copies of our book on weight training, Getting Stronger, by Bill Pearl, to any prisoners who wrote us. Eventually, many prisons decided to eliminate gyms, so requests for this book tapered off.  In recent years we’ve been getting requests for our building books. One came in today from a federal correctional institution in Butner, North Carolina; some excerpts:

“…you were kind enough to send me your latest books on Small Homes, Tiny Homes, and Tiny Homes on the Move. As a result I spent most of my time drafting very small homes of my own… Then a little over a month ago, I was awakened at 3 AM and told that I had a court date and was taken into the federal system, and I lost the books in the process… Anyway I’m not working because of my health right now so again I’m asking you, please send me some of Lloyd’s books so that I don’t go out of my mind with boredom. They give me such inspiration and I’ve written many of the builders, trading letters with them about designs…”

We sent him three books, with a note telling him to let us know if they were received, and we will send a couple more. Many prisoners have told us that after they read the books, they put them in the prison libraries so other inmates have access to them.

The offer is still open to anyone in prison. Any prisoner can write us and we’ll send whatever book(s) are requested, free of charge. Or, if you know anyone in prison, let them know. The fitness books can help them stay in shape (Stretching, by Bob Anderson is especially good), and the building books give them ideas for what they might do when they are released.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

One Response to We Send Free Books to Prisoners

  1. Lloyd, have read of your policy (here) on this before, and was impressed. Glad to see you are still obliging folks with this offer. Imagine that such practical and useful generosity will benefit those who take it up.

    Also, as a book lover myself, I suspect the pure joy of having their OWN book(s) (from you) will / would mean a huge amount. I can still recall the first books I was given (over a number of years). Huge joy, and so forth. It is nice if they eventually pass them on to the library, but, I suspect, the value to themselves is even more so.

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