Even though I firmly believe the holidays don’t start until after Thanksgiving, this is my holiday plug for the year.
I don’t donate much to charity – I volunteer instead – but I always buy books at charity book drives. Whether it’s at the long-lost Borders, Barnes and Noble, or my local bookstore, when I see those children’s books come out on the counters, I get really excited.
Barnes and Noble partners up with local charities, like children’s hospitals, and encourages customers to purchase and donate a new children’s book. They keep a selection of books up at the counter and you just have to point to the book you want and pay – the clerk does the rest. (All book drives that I have seen work like this; I imagine you could also select and donate a book you particularly loved as a child.) Most places pick out cheaper, paperback books, so you, as a kind-hearted customer, are only looking at $6-$10 extra. If it’s a concern, the clerks generally know what charity they’re donating to this year. But the good thing is, 100% of your book is going straight to that charity.
If you have a bit of extra money and find yourself at a participating bookstore, I encourage you to donate a book. Like most readers, books were a big part of my life growing up and while I was lucky enough to have parents that kept me supplied, not every child else does. And owning a book can be a big deal; libraries are excellent places and should be encouraged but there’s something about having your own, worn, dog-eared copy of a favorite book that’s really special.