Don’t Throw out Those Books

Books are relatively inexpensive in the West. There are some exceptions, but this mostly remains true. Books are not as easily accessible in other parts of the world. For example, in Uganda books are incredibly difficult to come by. The cost is astronomical in a country with very low wages. Books there can cost a week’s salary, or more.

Which is why I’m saying don’t throw out those old books you no longer want. There are likely people in your area who simply can’t afford to buy their own. My top suggestion would be to take them to a company or organization that will do their best to reuse or recycle them.

But this applies to most things. Food. Clothing. Old electronics. So many things end up in landfills that could have been reused or recycled but simply aren’t. And I know some would say that books aren’t THAT important to go out of your way to preserve, but let me ask you something. Did you grow up with books in the house? Imagine if you hadn’t.

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Taylor Swift Partners With Scholastic to Donate 25,000 Books

Taylor Swift gets praised and criticized for everything. I’m not a fan of her music. I don’t follow her on social media. And I’m not generally interested in any “news” that comes out about the superstar. I have nothing against her, I actually believe her to be one of the great artists in music today. I just like my country.

But when someone as popular as she is does something to support literacy and get kids reading, I take notice. Scholastic will donate the books to New York area public schools. I’m not sure exactly what her role in the donation is, but I imagine she’s been supporting Scholastic’s charitable efforts for some time.

I know it can be easy to criticize celebrities for attaching their name to charitable causes, but who cares? Promoting literacy is promoting literacy. And Taylor Swift might be the biggest star in the world. So good for her.

What do you think?

Books Can’t Solve Everything

I’m pretty sure that if you have TV, then you know about something that happened in the US recently. In Baltimore people decided the best way to call for change in policing would be to riot and loot businesses. This was headline news for some time. And now James Patterson says he was inspired by those events and he wants to help them rebuild in some way. So he’s donating 25,000 copies of one of his children’s books.

I have no issue with Patterson. He’s one of my favorite authors. He does a lot more good for books and literacy than most people give him credit for, but he’s off base here. There are still many things that cities across America (including Baltimore) need to change. I’m talking law enforcement, but we all know it doesn’t start and stop there. ¬†And sure books can fit somewhere into that equation, but right now this one book isn’t going to do anything. The people who have the ability to bring about significant change aren’t going to be pushed to action because of this book. And change isn’t going to happen because of this book.

James Patterson is going to donate many more books to many more causes in the future, but I think he could have done this donation a bit more quietly. Without talking about being inspired by recent events. Cause it doesn’t change anything. It isn’t up to me to tell him how to spend his money and donate his books, but he really could have helped by donating money to the police department earmarked for more advanced training. At least that would really address one of the major issues facing the city.

What do you think about Patterson being inspired by the unrest in Baltimore and deciding to donate books?


On this day in 2014 I published Why do you Read?.

 

The Harry Potter Alliance Launches Annual Accio Books Book Drive

I’d never heard of the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) until I read about their annual campaign recently. But I won’t go heavily into describing them because either you know about the organization or you don’t. I don’t think it should have any effect on your opinion of their annual book drive.

The goal of the book drive is to give as many books as possible to children and families who otherwise wouldn’t have access to them. This year the drive is helping three organizations build libraries in their communities. Operation Breakthrough in Kansas City. Borderline Books in Gateshead, England. And Borderline Books in Leiden, the Netherlands. The goal is to raise 60,000 books for the three organizations in the two months from April 2 -June 2.

This kind of goes back to my post from yesterday in which I described a man in Colorado who had thousands of books and got rid of them by dumping them on the side of the highway. I bet if he’d gotten in contact with HPA that they could have figured out a way for him to donate those books. The best part of this whole thing is that HPA is aware of how costly it can be to ship books, so they help you if you’re someone who has dozens or even hundreds of books you’re trying to get rid by suggesting local causes or organizations to donate to. This is a great way to get people reading who otherwise likely wouldn’t.

If you’re interested in donating books just click here to visit their website to learn more. As of the writing of this post they have raised over 10,000 books.


On this day in 2014 I published My Writing Process Blog Hop.