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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Company profile: Better World Books

Better World Books 

What do they do?
They are an online bookstore based in the US selling new and secondhand books and specialise in used textbooks. They offer free shipping worldwide and as the current exchange rate is in our (NZ's) favour, its a cheap place to purchase from.

I chose Better World Books to profile for a few reasons.

1. They resell second-hand books from all around America:
Seriously great way to recycle- rehome a used book to a new home. They also donate books to organisations they support and if the book is unsuitable for sale or donation, they recycle them. They have re-used or recycled over 70 million pounds (31,751.5 metric tonnes) of books.

2. While they ain't a not-for-profit, they do give a lot away:
They partner with a few non-profit organisations including Invisible Children and as of August 15 this year, had given over $5.5million to literacy and education organisations in America and worldwide and $4.5million for libraries all over America. For more specifics, see here.

3. And, well, they're a bookstore and we love bookstores:
Even ones located on the other side of the world. A recent quote on their Facebook page really jumped out at me. It said:
"Lord! When you sell a man a book you don't sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night - there's all heaven and earth in a book, a real book." -Christopher Morley
They also offer a carbon offset option when ordering books, for a few extra dollars. Which can help, well, offset the environmental cost of shipping from America. Remember also that a lot of the books you buy, even in bricks and mortar stores, were not printed in NZ!

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