Books by Mail
The New York Public Library's Books by Mail Service provides books and other library materials to homebound people of all ages who live in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island.
For more information, please call 917-ASK-NYPL (917-275-6975) or TTY 212-930-0950.
Books by Mail is only for individuals who are unable to leave home because of a temporary or permanent disability. This application must be filled out completely and signed by a physician, nurse or social worker who can verify that you are disabled and unable to leave home.
The application asks about your reading interests. The sections labeled “age category,” “format preferences” and “language preferences” must be filled out. If you check “please do not select items for me,” we will only send items you have specifically requested.
If you check “please select items for me,” you should indicate your areas of interest under fiction and/or non-fiction. All of the questions on the reader profile page are about the kind of materials you want the library to provide. If you opt to have us select books for you, we will send several items from the subject areas you have indicated approximately once a month. In addition, you may request specific items at any time.
When registration is complete, you will receive your first Books by Mail delivery along with a welcome letter which further explains how the service works. The letter will include contact information for when you have questions or want to place requests for library materials.
- Application for Books by Mail Service (English)
- Application for Books by Mail Service (Spanish)
- Application for a Homebound Library Card
Once you are registered for the Books by Mail service, materials are sent in a reusable envelope by book rate through the United States Postal Service. The packages are delivered to your home and must be returned in the same envelope by depositing them in a mail box or by having the letter carrier pick them up. The address card in the front envelope must be reversed so that our address and the pre-paid return postage are showing.
Many other public libraries across the country provide similar services for the homebound people in their communities.
Patrons who have a physical disability that makes it impossible for them to use regular library materials may be eligible for the Talking Books program. Information about the National Library Service for the Blind, administered locally by the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library, may be found on their website or by calling 212-206-5400 or TDD 212-206-5458.