Sunday, July 29, 2012

Doing Well By Doing Good

You could call it idealistic naïveté - in fact, some of you will (there's plenty of hippieishness at which to look askance) -- but it appears to be at least self-supporting. Besides, they're pushin' books, hanging out on streetcorners and luring the underprivileged into literacy, and I like that.

Every time you buy a tome from used-bookseller Better World Books (a Hoosier company, shipping outta Indy and points north), they donate a book to someone in need. Then they take any leftover profit, wrap it up and make sure it gets spent on literacy and libraries. You get books and other people get to read, people who might otherwise have nothin' but the ads on buses and billboards. --And it's not some compulsory tax-funded exercise in bureaucracy, either; they're paying for the whole thing by selling books to willing buyers at good prices.

And that strikes me as a pretty good idea.


Don said...

Wonderful idea! Although I don't buy many dead tree books anymore, I'll use them.

All the hippies weren't wrong all the time.

Chas S. Clifton said...

I like the idea of donating books, but "leftover profit" seems like an oxymoron.

Roberta X said...

Chas: a bit of; but once the principals have recouped their initial investment, it's all gravy -- and they can do anything they want to with it. Turns out they wanted was to ensure more and more people were reading...which is not such a bad thing for a bookseller to support, since it's their long-term best interest and all.

Stretch said...

And you're not doing a damn thing for my bookaholism.

DOuglas2 said...

I've done lots of business with them -- not because I knew of or supported their cause, but because they had the books I wanted, in the best condition and at the best price.

Since I know from experience that if I order from them I'll get my order promptly, it will be well packed, and the used book will be in the condition described, I'm even sometimes inclined to spend a little bit more to get the book from them than from a rival.