Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Share the joy of reading.

I am a big proponent of reading and literacy, and so was pleased to see a flyer for Better World Books on campus today. Better World Books is a business that operates to support worldwide literacy projects. From the very beginning, 100% of after-cost profits are always donated to charity. There are seven ways to work with Better World Books:

* Donate books which will be either sold to raise money for Room to Read or Books for Africa (see below) or donated to Books for Africa. Better World Books will even pay the postage for your donation!

* Campus organizations can organize a drive to collect textbooks and other books at the end of the semester. They'll raise money for their organization and help fund world literacy projects too! This is a great project for a civic, service, or Greek letter organization.

* Libraries can donate unwanted books and generate money in the process.

* The Thrift Store Program allows thrift stored to get rid of unneeded books and raise money at the same time.

* In the Bookstore Program, Better World Books will pick up unwanted books so that they don't have to be destroyed, recycled or tossed into a landfill.

* Buy used books from Better World Books knowing that they profits will be used to support world literacy efforts. There are books on all subjects, so you're sure to find something you like. There's even a money back guarantee!

* Donate money directly to the Better World Books' partner organizations: Room to Read and Books for Africa. "Room to Read seeks to intervene early in the lives of children and help provide them with an education and the lifelong gift of literacy." To that end, they work in Asia to build schools, fund scholarships, establish libraries, publish local language children's books, donate English language children's books and more. Books for Africa is the largest shipper of donated school books to the African continent, over 1.4 million last year alone. They collect, sort, ship and distribute books to children in 28 countries. Your donations are needed to pay for the costs of shipping (~$.38 per book).

So search through your bookshelves (and your wallets) to see if how you can support Better World Books, Books for Africa, and Room to Read. As Room to Read says "World change starts with educated children."


Karama said...

For more on literacy, check out the December 15th post. Also, read the second December 15th post for ways to read books for free. And remember to visit and click daily.

Anonymous said...

Better World Books is a FOR-PROFIT company that gains enormous revenues by collecting its (free) inventory in the name of charities and disasters, sells tham online and gives less than 5% of the profits to said causes. Its called profiteering -- not philanthropy. Their 100% profits to charity after costs model is misleading -- costs include financing their retirement, car expenses, cell phone expenses, home offices, internet connections, medical insurance and other percs. Please consider NOT DONATING FREE INVENTORY TO THIS COMPANY.

Xavier Helgesen said...

It is really a shame to see someone post something like the comment above. Better World Books does what it says, and I should know, as I am one of the co-founders, and also a member of the board of directors for Books For Africa. If you care to check the Books For Africa annual report for 2005, you'll see Better World Books as the top source of funding. That number will double in 2006. BWB is run with low overhead by real people who really care about making a difference. If you have any questions, I encourage you to contact me directly at xavier at betterworldbooks dot com .

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