Reading is fundamental, or so the old slogan used to remind us. But fundamental or not, millions cannot obtain books to read. Books get discarded and dumped into overflowing landfills each day- books that could make their way into the hands of someone anxious to read them if only there was a way to get these unwanted books from one person to the next.
Today, there is a way. It is known as Better World Books, and it is based on a business model that encourages recycling of books in the spirit of charity while also serving as a fundraising organization to assist libraries and literacy efforts. Better World Books is all about reading and education, and it wants to make it easier for individuals to find a good book to read and/or to find a program that will help them learn to read, if they cannot already do so.
How Does it Work?:
Better World Books collects donated books from individuals and libraries on a daily basis. The books are added to the Better World Books database where they are either sold or retained for donation. Every time a person purchases a book from Better World Books, they donate a book to someone in need. They also take part of the purchase dollars and use them to fund world literacy.
The Better World Books web site lets everyone see the progress made by the organization on a continuous basis. The web site’s home page shows the total books donated (currently over 6 million), total funds raised for libraries and literacy (currently over $12 million), and the total books recycled (currently over 88 million). These figures update in real time, so anyone who logs into the site can watch the numbers grow every few seconds as more donations are made and more money is raised.
How Can I Donate?:
Better World Books now has large drop boxes to make donating books as easy as possible. At present, drop boxes exist in select locations in Texas, Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, and Maryland. They are not found throughout each of these sates. Right now, only a few metropolitan areas have them. But the concept is growing and in due time, drop boxes may exist in every state and in thousands of cities.
If you do not live in a state/city that has a public drop box, don’t worry- you can logon to the Better World Books web site and fill out a form to make a donation. The web site will even print an address label for you to affix to your box of books. And if you like the concept and know of a great location for a drop box, just logon to the Better World Books web site, click Donate from the home page, and then follow the link to Host a Drop Box.
Better World Books is a great concept and one that will continue to grow as more and more individuals and organizations gain awareness of the business and its mission. I only recently learned about it myself. I was driving past my local Kroger grocery store today and noticed this large, green- colored container, similar to those found in many cities for donating clothing. I got closer, read the label, and proceeded to educate myself on this company and its business model.
Better World Books offers very good prices. Some books are even offered new, but the used books are the ones with the bargain price tags. Parents and others can logon and find bargain deals on books for their children and for themselves. There is no shipping charge on book orders, so not only do you get books at a bargain price, you also help add to the funds targeted for literacy relief and help to get more books in the hands of those who want them.
Better World Books is a concept likely to catch on and grow exponentially within the next few years and for good reason. It is a socially conscious organization and if you think about it, Better World Books is really a win-win-win situation. Consumers win through lower prices, the less fortunate win through donated books and funding for programs, and the environment wins through less waste. Logon to the Better World Books web site yourself, and see what you can do to make the world a better place.
Copyright 2012, Bryan Carey