As we begin our third year I am now feeling buried in used books. We do buy some books but we are beginning to be more selective in what we will pay for and we are going to need to develop some guidelines so our customers know that we cannot buy back used books that we previously sold at a deep discount and that we need to restrict our purchases of books from other used paperback stores.
But that is not the purpose of this post. We have the policy of always accepting donations of used books, and that won't change -- I can't bear to see books thrown away when there are so many less fortunate for whom a book is a treasured luxury. My problem has been deciding how to get my ever-expanding and towering piles of books to those in need.
That is where Better World Books and the Reuse First Internet Service comes in.
I signed up with this company last year and sent a box of books to them. The great thing is they handle all the shipping and so the donation to them does not cost us anything. My main objective was to try and make sure that the books our customers gave to us, that we could not use, would go to support literacy in our own country and abroad.Reuse First: Making sure books get to readers – wherever they are!The Reuse First Division collects tons of unwanted books to help fund literacy initiatives locally, nationally and around the world. We have raised $8.6 million dollars for global literacy by capitalizing on the value of so-called “no-value books.” Whether you are an individual, student group, library, or bookstore, we have a program that is perfect for you.
As a for-profit social venture, Better World Books’ success is measured by the positive impact that we make in addressing specific social issues; for us, that issue is literacy. Our collected books benefit five major nonprofit literacy programs as well as 80+ other literacy-based nonprofits.
So anyway, I boxed up some books, sent them away and forgot about it. Then, today, I decided to check out what had happened to this box of old, less than pristine and well-used books. That was when I discovered the "Green" part of what Better World Books achieves. The environmental impact of recycling these 14 books resulted in saving 1 tree, 82 gallons of water, and reduced landfill space by 1 cu. yd. Okay, I know that isn't much but when you look at this program on a national basis the results are phenomenal
Since its founding in 2003, the company has raised over $7.3 million for its non-profit literacy and library partners; diverted more than 29 million pounds of books from landfills; achieved 11,000 tons of carbon offsets through carbon-neutral shipping, and created more than 200 full-time jobs with meaningful benefits.
Better World Books diverts books from landfills by conducting book drives on 1,800 college campuses, and by collecting discards from over 2,000 libraries nationwide. It then sells those used books and contributes a portion of the revenue on each sale to its non-profit literacy and library partners. Books that cannot be sold are frequently donated to at risk communities in the U.S. and African schools by the truckload..
Better World Books for some of your book purchases because at Better World Books every purchase you make helps to change the world.
But, don't worry, we will always have plenty of used books to pick from on our shelves.