My friend Wendy just sent me a letter she received - from a book, purchased through BetterWorldBooks.
(Your book(s) asked to write you a personal note - it seemed unusual, but who are we to say no?)
Holy canasta! It's me... it's me! I can't believe it is actually me! You could have picked any of over 2 million books but you picked me! I've got to get packed! How is the weather where you live? Will I need a dust jacket? I can't believe I'm leaving Mishawaka, Indiana already - the friendly people, the Hummer plant, the Linebacker Lounge - so many memories. I don't have much time to say goodbye to everyone, but it's time to see the world! I can't wait to meet you! You sound like such a well read person. Although, I have to say, it sure has taken you a while! I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but how would you like to spend five months sandwiched between Jane Eyre (drama queen) and Fundamentals of Thermodynamics (pyromaniac)? At least Jane was an upgrade from that stupid book on brewing beer. How many times did the ol' brewmaster have one too many and topple off our shelf at 2am?
I know the trip to meet you will be long and fraught with peril, but after the close calls I've had, I'm ready for anything (besides, some of my best friends are suspense novels). Just five months ago, I thought I was a goner. My owner was moving and couldn't take me with her. I was sure I was landfill bait until I ended up in a Better World Books book drive bin. Thanks to your socially conscious book shopping, I've found a new home. Even better, your book buying dollars are helping kids read from Brazil to Botswana.
BetterWorldBooks is a social enterprise - a new type of hybrid mission-driven for-profit business which shows much promise providing solutions to vexing problems. They make money selling books, and donate an [undisclosed] portion to their literacy partners around the world- some in cash to run the programs, and by donating used book to their literacy partners. The also have an environmental mission, to get unused book back into circulation, and to save books from landfills. They run book drives on campuses and accept donations from libraries. They will send you free shipping labels for book donations, even.
One mystifying aspect - maybe someone from BetterWorldBooks can explain their buyback deal?They say they will pay cash for your books. I input about a dozen books and they all came up as "donation" - meaning, I presume, that they would accept them, but not buy them. These were all relatively new books - quite a few from a class my college student child was trying to resell. So if they don't offer $$ for current books in print, I'm not clear on what they WOULD pay for.
Great concept, though. Surely a good way to purchase books, and support a lot of good initiatives. Wendy is quite sold, for sure!