6.03.2008

Better World

If you're like me, you never have enough books. I try to limit my purchases to books I can use for my business, for inspiration, and for beauty. This means I borrow most of what I read for pleasure from the library, to save money. This works out well, and does save lots. So, when it comes to purchasing books for my work, I'm always on the lookout for two things: new, exciting, beautiful books, and new sources to buy them, cheaply if possible.

That's why I'm excited to have found Better World Books; 'the online bookstore with a soul'. Here's how they describe themselves on their website:
"Better World Books collects and sells books online to fund literacy initiatives worldwide. With more than two million new and used titles in stock, we’re a self-sustaining, triple-bottom-line company that creates social, economic and environmental value for all our stakeholders.
We were founded in 2002 by three friends from the University of Notre Dame who started selling textbooks online to earn some money, and ended up forming a pioneering social enterprise — a business with a mission to promote literacy."

Books sold on BetterWorld.com help fund high-impact literacy projects throughout the world. And they also effectively deal with old books:

"Because we believe that most every book has lasting value and the potential to help change the world, we see our job as helping to find new homes for unwanted books. Thus far, we’ve donated nearly one million books to partner programs around the world. Our four primary literacy partners are Books for Africa, Room to Read, Worldfund, and the National Center for Family Literacy."

Pretty cool, isn't it? Add all this to free US shipping, (carbon neutral with offsets from Carbonfund.org) competitive prices, and extensive reviews on most titles, and you have what I think is the perfect book-buying experience.
I've just placed my first order (with an online coupon which saved me another 15% on top of the already low price!), and will be the proud owner of a book I've wanted for my library for a long time: Ndebele, The Art of an African Tribe, by Margaret Courtney-Clarke.
A better world, indeed.

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