For approximately 444 years after the Buddha's death his teachings ( The "Tipitaka", or "Three Baskets of Suttas" ) were preserved by legions of monks who committed his suttas to memory. In the year 100 B.C., King Vattagamani convened a Fourth Council, in which 500 reciters and scribes from the Mahavihara wrote down the Pali Tipitaka for the first time, on palm leaves. Palm leaf suttas have been in use since then to record the Buddha's teachings and today they are translated and printed in the English language under various titles.
The Vihara Book Service is a non-profit service offered by The Washington D.C. Buddhist Vihara Society. The main purpose of the service is to provide a source for books on Buddhism. All proceeds from the sale of the books are used to expand our stock and to help with the operating expenses of the Washington D.C. Buddhist Vihara (the first Theravada Buddhist temple in North America).
If there is a particular Buddhist Publication Society title (or other hard to get Asian title) that you are looking for or if you are confused about what to read first please e-mail us at email@example.com to get more help on buying books. Feel free to call 202-723-0773 to inquire about it. Books are mailed to you upon request. You are also encouraged to visit the Vihara.