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Monday, December 10, 2012

Books for A Better World

Some of you are probably all done with your holiday shopping.  I wish I was that organized. When we visited Louisiana in mid-November, my my mother-in-law already has all her presents bought, wrapped and awaiting their spot under the Christmas tree. Meanwhile, I had not begun my shopping. While I wish I was as on-top of the shopping as Ms. Donna and some of my more organized friends, my endless browsing has led me to find some exciting charitable ways to give this holiday season.

My nieces love books. Instead of toys, they are asking for - in no particular order - bubble wrap, pistachios, light bulbs and books. Yup, I wish everyone was as easy to please. While the first three items would surely make the girls squeal with delight, I'm opting to get them books. Andrew and I are avid readers ands books have played a big role in our lives, so I'm excited to share some of my old favorites and some new ones with the girls.


You might remember my nieces from this post.
 Photo Credit Fine Arts Exposure
During a recent chat with my friend Manda, I mentioned the items that I was looking for some Angelina Ballerina books for my niece Anna. Manda recommended that I check out Better World Books. Better World Book's concept is as simple as this - if you buy a book, they donate a book. The project, called Book for Book has led to the donation of over 6.4 million books! This number astounded me. 

 So, how can you support Better World Books? Every time you purchase a book from BetterWorldBooks.com
, they donate a book to someone in need. The books they donate go through non-profit partners, including Books for Africa and Feed the Children

In addition to the Book for Book program, Books for a Better World has raised over $13 million for literacy including over $6 million for 80+ literacy and education nonprofits and $6.3 million for libraries nationwide. The site has contributed more than $2.7 million to college service clubs who have run book drives. A few of their other beneficiaries include Room to Read, the National Center for Family Literacy, Worldfund, the Robinson Community Learning Center and the New Orleans Public Library Foundation.
Students in Africa who received books through Books for Africa. 
Not only is the company charitably minded, but they are eco-conscious as well. As part of Better World Book's commitment to environmental sustainability, they never throw away a book. Any book they are not able to sell or donate is recycled. They have re-used or recycled over 93 million books. And yes- they have ebooks for sale too!

Better World Books has also reclaimed more than 900,000 pounds of metal shelving from libraries across the United States and as further proof of their eco-friendly practices, for just a few extra cents buyers have the option to be shipped carbon balanced. To date they have reached 33,000 tons of carbon offsets.

The organization also partners with 3Degrees, a leading green power and carbon balancing firm in order to ensure the carbon offsets and renewable energy credits (RECs) from wind farms. The carbon offsets support the Tatanka Wind Farm, a renewable-energy project in the Dakotas, which could potentially generate enough clean energy to power more than 60,000 homes according to BetterWorldBooks.com.


You can also donate your own used books to Book for A Better World. They will even reimburse you for the shipping you incur when sending them the books!

I couldn't be happier with my Books for a Better World experience. I know Anna will love her Angelina Ballerina books and that because of my purchase, three more children will have new books too. 


So, what does all this have to do with weddings? Well, it just so happens that as my attendant's gift for the last wedding I was involved in, I received a book. (You might remember Leah, the DIY bride, from my previous post.) Leah bought all of us Grace Bonney of Design Sponge's Design Sponge at Home - a DIY bible of sorts (available at betterworldbooks.com here). It's full of fun and helpful DIY tips and every time I look through it not only will I be inspired, but I will think of Leah and her wedding day.

Books make great gifts and can be very personal ways to say thank you. In fact, we used Edward Monkton's A Lovely Love Story as our guest book. I've seen couples use a host of books as guest books - from books about art to books about French culture. One of my favorite shower gifts was the Bride & Groom; First & Forever Cookbook. My shower hostesses used the gorgeous hardcover cookbook as a Guest Book at my bridal shower. Instead of being a Guest Book that was stowed away after the wedding, the cookbook is a living part of our household, one that we use to cook together regularly.  You could buy this lovely book as a gift - and help others! There are a whole host of wedding books available on Better World Books for anyone planning a wedding or looking for a gift for someone who is.  There are still 15 days til Christmas, so happy shopping!





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