Always Buying Books owner gives books to inmates to read

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A local bookstore is giving back to the community by providing books to inmates.

The owner of Always Buying Books in Joplin has been wanting to do this for sometime. Bob Wolfe says it all started with a letter that came to him in the mail from an incarcerated woman who wanted to have some books to read. Now, after talking to Jasper County Sheriff Randee Kaiser, he will be able to provide many more books to all the inmates.

“I just told him I wanted to do it,” says Bob Wolfe.

Last year, Bob Wolfe got a letter in the mail from a Jasper county inmate who wished to read more.

“We took on that as a project, just as a fun. Then, we got a message that she has a roommate, so then we started sending them to both of them,” says Wolfe.

That got Bob wanting to help further. He reached out to Jasper County Sheriff Randee Kaiser hoping to provide more books for the inmates.

“I was ready for an argument. I’ve never met the man, but I have a lot of respect for him, I do that,” says Wolfe.

“Well, obviously I was very thankful for his generosity and for his thoughtfulness. It’s not something we often get for an offer for,” says Randee Kaiser.

“He asked me how many books I’d like to do I told him about a hundred a month. He said that’s fine,” says Bob Wolfe.

Before this, inmates only had access to what visitors brought them or through the limited library the jail has. Now, inmates will have a large selection to choose from through Mr. Wolfe’s efforts. 

“A few classics. We’re going to go Westerns. We’re going to go Romance, Science Fiction, and Modern Day Fiction,” says Wolfe.

“We don’t, you know, necessarily budget to buy books, so any books we get like this is obviously appreciated and the owner’s generosity is greatly appreciated as well,” says Randee Kaiser.

Mr. Wolfe says he is currently looking for Spanish to English dictionaries and Spanish books to help with bilingual inmates. He also says he would love to help other area jails by sending books to them as well.

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