Pensacola Flood Damage: Let’s Help Open Books

Most of you probably heard on the news that we had a huge storm Tuesday night here in Pensacola, with flooding in many areas of the city. Last week I posted about a wonderful not-for-profit bookstore in town, Open Books, a prison book project. They are completely volunteer; no one there gets paid. 100% of their proceeds go to sending books free of charge to prisoners throughout the state of Florida.

Open Books had extensive damage to the store. They lost close to 3,000 books. The photos below were shared on their Facebook page:

Right now they are cleaning up and drying things out. What they really need right now is money. They will be needing to replace bookshelves, their computer, making repairs. Any amount is welcome, no amount is too small (Bitcoin is accepted, too). You can donate via the button in the sidebar of the Open Books website.

There are some physical items they will need; not yet, but soon! I’m willing to hold those items and deliver them when I see that it won’t add to the confusion.

Email me if you are interested in sending any of the following items:

Large manila envelopes, stamps, or packing tape (for the prison book project).

Books. Paperback is preferable. They do accept ARCs. Any genre welcome, but this is specifically what they lost and need to replenish:

  • Odd sections of the literature sections (“C”; “K”; “M”, “R”, and “V-W”. Also, poetry from “S”-“Z” and good anthologies)
  • Science Fiction is completely gone
  • Gardening
  • Education
  • Cookbooks
  • Buddhism. Other religious books besides the big three (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity survived the storm)
  • Political science
  • Always in need of dictionaries for the prison book project, too, as well as African American history, literature, and Africana studies books
Donations. I know I already mentioned this, but right now it’s one of the top ways to help out.
If you’re local to Pensacola: Good solid, wooden bookshelves (not particle board). Cases of bottled water (due to the boil water notice in that area). Food for the volunteers (most are vegetarian or vegan). Contact Open Books directly if you can help in any of these ways.
I’m not affiliated with Open Books in any way. I’m just a local book lover who believes in this project. I had such a great experience volunteering last week; the regulars at Open Books are fantastic and care so deeply about what they do. Let’s help ensure they are able to continue their meaningful work.