Too many books?  I realize there is no such thing … unless you are moving and have used up the good will of friends who have lifted one box of books too many.  Or maybe you’ve run out of shelving and decide you really can part with that dog-eared Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3D paperback, now that the 3D glasses are long gone and your child has moved on to SpongeBob.

I’ve donated books to our local library, for their annual book sales. I’ve given a box or two of books to the Purple Hearts. My younger niece and nephew have received some of our hand-me-down books, when their older cousins have outgrown them.  But I just discovered the best place to send outgrown or extra books—Better World Books.

Findaway World held an impromptu book drive last month as part of our PROPS tradition.  Each month a different team at Findaway is selected for PROPS—they are kind of like the “team of the month” and the rest of the company pays them extra special attention.  Our team, the Content Group, has hosted a breakfast, gone bowling, and even rock-climbing with colleagues from different teams. Each team is also given a 1/2 day off from work, to spend as a team, outside of the building. Every person on the team writes down what they’d like to do as a group and then someone spins a giant wheel to select the outing for the team.

Last month one of our friends in the Digital Products Group, Kelly Lytle, wanted to “do something to support literacy.”  His team ended up spending an afternoon at a downtown venue, but the Content Group wanted to make his wish come true.  Hence, the first Findaway World book drive, and my introduction to Better World Books.

Better World Books is committed to literacy. The books they collect are either sold (and a percentage of the proceeds goes towards literacy groups), or donated outright to various literacy groups, like Books for Africa and Room to Read. They run book drives on college campuses nationwide and make it so easy to do a good thing.  Their website speaks eloquently about their history and mission, and has some amazing videos. Check it out:

As of this writing:

BWB has donated 12,328,377 books

BWB has raised $16,252,474.28 for libraries and literacy

BWB has reused or recycled 129,281,964 books

Findaway World shipped 13 boxes of books to Better World Books this past April.  I’ll be sending more too. As soon as my kids are finished with SpongeBob, those books will be donated.  I will hang on to anything by Eric Carle, Kevin Henkes, Maurice Sendak, Ezra Jack Keats, Margaret Wise Brown, Mo Willems, Rosemary Wells, and numerous others until I’m a “yiayia”—then I’ll share them with my grandkids.

What books are your “keepers”?  We’d love to know. Do you have a favorite literacy charity? Tell us about it!