23 August, 2010

The Old Books Question Has a New Answer

It took the threat of a lawsuit, but the Missouri Department of Corrections finally revised its policy regarding book orders. Those in the free world (i.e., you) may now have books sent to prisoners (i.e., me), provided the books come from a vendor and appear new. Hardcover or paperback, fiction or non, hefty reference or bathroom reader — almost anything goes.

Remember that magical literary novel you said last winter I just had to read? I no longer have to vainly hope the Crossroads library will order it some day. And that collection of essays you offered to send me three years ago, only to be told you couldn't? Well, now you can. The coffee table book of risqué cabaret dancer portraits you thought I'd enjoy to no end? While theoretically allowed, the one I carry around in my head is probably better, but thanks anyway.

For everyone who's asked, and for those who didn't but now want to know, I've put together a wish list on Amazon. But don't let it keep you from expanding my horizons with books of your own choosing. Some of the best things I've read have been at the insistence of friends. Your thoughtfulness and generosity are sincerely appreciated. So is your consideration of my busy writing schedule; unless they're two-day reads, I must ask that no more than two books be sent at a time.

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Byron does not have Internet access. Pariahblog.com posts are sent from his cell by way of a secure service especially for prisoners' use. We do read him your comments, however, and he enjoys hearing your thoughts very much.