Better World Books
One of the most unique booksellers I have encountered, Better World Books is an online bookstore with a social mission. Founded in 2002 by two friends from the University of Notre Dame, this online store sells used books that are donated via drop boxes in a multitude of locations in several states. A for-profit enterprise, Better World Books successfully combines commerce with social goals. In addition to profit, this bookseller is equally committed to people and the planet. Over 100 million books have been reused or recycled keeping them out of landfills, over 9 million books have been donated, and over 14 million dollars have been raised for literacy and libraries.
I only recently discovered a Better World drop box at the corner of a parking lot where I shop for groceries. I am amazed that it took me so long to discover the bright green metal container with "Buy Books Here" displayed prominently on the side. Better late than never, right? This is a gem of an enterprise. Partnering with literacy groups like Room to Read, Books for Africa, and the National Center for Family Literacy, Better World Books is making a difference. Every time a book is purchased on BetterWorldBooks.com, a book is donated to a person in need. On my recent stop at the drop box, I donated two books.
Check out the web site, and look for a drop box in your area. Then shop the large selection of books, new as well as used, available at the Better World online store. Spreading literacy is a great thing.
Here's a brief video explaining how Better World Books got its start.