The Most Wonderful Post of the Year, 2010

December 23rd, 2010 · 7 Comments
by Kassia Krozser

No matter where you stand on the various issues surrounding the future of publishing, one thing is clear: without readers, what we do doesn’t matter very much. We sometimes take the privilege of our bookish lives for granted, forgetting how many people out there would give anything to be able to pick up a book and read it.

Yet, this is the season of giving (and, yes, tax deductions). Every year, we here at Booksquare make a pitch for our favorite causes, hoping some of you, like us, will find a little something extra to give this now and in the future. If you have a favorite cause that relates to literacy, reading, or education, let us know in the comments.

  • ProLiteracy — As always, our list is topped by You can contribute either financially or by volunteering as a literacy tutor. When you are a reader, a to-your-soul reader, it’s almost impossible to imagine a world where people can’t read. The reasons vary, and the solution is not simple. Helping others learn to read should be the primary goal of the publishing industry — any way we can.

    If you can’t donate money, can you donate time?

  • First Book — Just as teaching the world to read is important, getting books to children is essential. First Book gets books to children who need them. You remember your first book, you remember reading as a child. Help share that joy. Bonus! through December 31, your donation will be matched book-for-book by Random House.
  • Girls Write Now: Girls Write Now is a non-profit organization devoted to mentoring the next generation of women writers. Focused on New York’s underserved and at-risk high school girls, this program helps them find their voices through creative writing.
  • Donors Choose — The problem with growing up the child of a public school librarian is that you know how completely screwed up our public school financing priorities are. It is appalling that teachers and librarians are forced to finance so many projects (and supplies, essential supplies) out of their own pockets. It’s not like teachers make huge salaries. was founded to bring educators together with people who have money to contribute to specific projects. Look at the list of projects — is there something you can help transform from wish to reality?
  • Buy Books — You want to make a serious statement about your commitment to books? Buy everyone on your shopping list a book. Or two. Or three. No need to limit yourself. This isn’t going to turn the industry around, but, c’mon people who get free books, put some money back into the industry that’s been good to you.

Here’s hoping you have a little extra to give to one or more of these causes, be it money, time, or energy. And thank you, so much, for reading BS!

File Under: Square Pegs

7 responses so far ↓

  • Mitch Luckett // Dec 24, 2010 at 10:47 am

    I gave everyone a book for Christmas, ahhh . . . including myself. I couldn’t resist; so many books, such fun shopping, many hours–maybe years–of reading pleasure.

  • warren cassell // Dec 24, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    I am a retired Indie bookstore owner and recently found a way of keeping my hand in the beautiful world of books–as well as doing some good work. I have been actively involved in as a volunteer initially, and I am now performing some outreach tasks. Operation Paperback provides “gently used books” to our troops overseas as well as VA hospitals here and to stateside families of serviceman serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our organization is totally volunteer, grassroots and very important for me, non-partisan. (A reading of Junger’s War was another motivating factor for me.) I urge you and your readers to get involved with Operation Paperback to help get books to a neglected reading group throughout the year. For more information, go the website or email me with questions.
    And a happy, healthy and productive holiday and New Year to all

    Warren Cassell
    Formerly Just Books, Greenwich.

  • Anthony Fleischer // Dec 25, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Then PEN/STUDZINSKI LITERARY AWARD is open to young writers living in any of the fifteen countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). South African PEN defends free expression and encourages literatutre. We use the slogan “Write! Africa Write!’ With some help from global friends we could add “Read! Africa Read!” and with work with “Room to Read” and other worthy organisations to improve literacy rates. You are so right as a publisher’s website to focus on literacy in the developing world – that is where your future readers will come from – digital or print!

  • Beth Sears // Dec 26, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    I volunteer for Raising a Reader, a non-profit dedicated to teaching families the importance of reading to children from birth to age 5. I also support Room to Read, an international nonprofit that builds schools and libraries and funds scholarships for girls in developing countries.

  • Shelley // Jan 7, 2011 at 8:31 am

    As a writer, I’m particularly fond of Operation Paperback, which gives information on how to inexpensively send books to our troops overseas.

    Thanks for this great post.

  • Charities Accepting Book Donations « Atlanta Booklover's Blog // Mar 22, 2011 at 11:49 am

    […] last year, the folks at BookSquare helpfully posted an annotated list of worthy organizations that solicit donations for books, which they get into the hand of people hungry for them. Readers of that blogpost suggest a few […]

  • Judith Briles // Jun 14, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Wow, these are generous causes to pursue! It is really fulfilling to someone less fortunate the joys you had while reading or even buying a book. God bless all the beautiful souls of people who advocate to giving wholeheartedly their time and effort in making other people read, write and enjoy.