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  • November 2011
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Books make the world better

Over the past week, the staff here at Beechview has been slaving away preparing for our Customer Appreciate Day and Book Sale. We take in and shelter old books that people no longer want and hopefully, by the end of a few weeks, will have sent them on their way to a new home.  What’s that you’re asking? Why bother buying books when you can borrow them for free from your local Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh? Sure, I can see your point. But, maybe every once in a while, a book comes along that is so meaningful and special to you that you simply must own it. Or perhaps you enjoy having your own personal library at home, like I do. Either way, the library is a great place to buy books. Not only are you getting books with character– ones that have been read and loved by who knows how many people before you– but you are also supporting your library!

This brings me to another successful used book venture, Better World Books. Better World Books was created by a few Notre Dame grads and has grown into a company that has raised over $10.3 million for literacy and libraries. Now, Better World Books does make a profit, don’t let them fool you. But they still actually make an effort–one that is greater than the typical efforts of “corporate america”– to donate to charity. According to their website, for every book you buy from them, they donate one to a person in an impoverished country. Since we are all book lovers and enjoy both giving and receiving books, keep this company in mind during your holiday shopping. And for all of you in college or going to college soon, they sell textbooks at not too horrible prices! Anyway, it’s a pretty cool concept and I hope they are genuinely following through with it. Here is a breakdown of their global impact, in case you’re interested.

 In addition to their support of literacy, BWB has diverted 26,000 tons of books from landfills—they have pledged to NEVER throw a book out. They have re-used or recycled 70 million pounds of books (which comes out to around 57 million books!) and have reclaimed and recycled more than 720,000 pounds of metal shelving from libraries.

Since BWB makes an effort to make their environmental footprint smaller, we probably should as well. Did you know?…

  • Only two human-made structures on Earth are large enough to be seen from outer space: the Great Wall of China and the Fresh Kills landfill, located on the western shore of Staten Island!
  • Every year we fill enough garbage trucks to form a line that would stretch from the earth, halfway to the moon.
  • An average child will use between 8,000 -10,000 disposable diapers ($2,000 worth) before being potty trained.

(Scary facts courtesy of justilivegreener.com)

Check out these books to learn more about what you can do to help:


-Julie, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Beechview

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