Books to read while in prison & how to choose them

Books: Unjustly Accused by Susan L Stewart
The true story of a man’s unjust incarceration and his daring escape. Currently available as an e-book on Amazon.


Someone on asked what books he should read during his time in prison. is a website where people submit questions on any subject you can think of and other people write responses. I’ve asked a few questions and answered a lot. This is a question I found today and my answer.

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Books offer a wonderful opportunity to learn and be entertained, especially when you are looking at spending time in prison. This is difficult to answer with specific book titles because there are so many unknowns. Do you like to read? What kinds of things are you interested in? Are you reading for entertainment or do you want to learn something?

Here are my thoughts about choosing books to read:

  • If you already are a reader, try some books outside of what you normally read.
  • If you are not a reader, start with smaller books based on things you enjoy.
  • Try to have two or three books to read at a time, if possible, so if you get bored you can read one of the others.
  • Read fiction and non-fiction.
  • Never feel like you “have to” finish a book. If it gets boring or you lose interest, give it back to the library.
  • There are no “right” books or “wrong” books, and no books you must read or must not read. Make your own decisions.
  • Read a variety of books across many interests.
  • See if it is possible to earn some kind of degree while you are inside. That will focus your reading and perhaps make life a little easier when you are released.
  • Try to read a few self-help type books. I say “try” because many of them are badly written. Once again, put it down if it isn’t interesting or helpful.
  • You might want to read the classic, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. It’s a life changer.
  • And finally, if you are fortunate enough to have a librarian (or inmate responsible for the library) who loves books, ask for their recommendations. They will be more in tune with your situation than I am.

Hope this helps and best wishes!

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