So many people to thank today! I wish every job was this easy.Mom, in Macon GA, bought 4 Wimpy Kids for the cause. I’m trying to convince her to become a permanent Books for Keeps volunteer but she is resisting mightily. Until then, thanks Mom!Bayne and his dad (ummm…. that’s my husband and father-in-law) hit a flea market and scored almost 200 books for TEN DOLLARS. Can you believe it? And I was able to use most of them, including 2 Wimpy Kids and a pile of books on the middle school wish list. Thanks Bayne and B.E.!Bonnie in Prosperity, SC was packaging up some books mooched by one of my “angel moochers” (shout out to Kerry!) when her young daughter got involved. Seems she wanted her mom to give ALL the books to Books for Keeps – even those already promised to others. Bonnie compromised by throwing in a bunch of extras and they’re great. Thank you Bonnie… and Kerry, too!Nancy in Staten Island NY sent a box of NEW early-reader chapter books that look like they’ll be a lot of fun. Nancy’s been supporting Books for Keeps since before we had a name, and I am profoundly grateful for people like her who keep us in mind when they see an opportunity to help. Thank you Nancy!Melissa in Spring Lake, NJ threw in a Wimpy Kid for the cause. She’s a PaperBackSwap user and those are some of the hardest points to earn. Thank you Melissa!Carrie from New Ulm, MN surprised me with a box of books covering all age ranges. I love a good surprise! Thank [...]
I’ve sorted most of the books inside the house. Notice the word inside; I’m ignoring the truck. I sorted out books that can’t be given to the kids, which takes our count down a little. But here are the details… for the curious among you.One thing is clear from this count: we need more Junie B Jones & Captain Underpants. Please help if you can!655 Beginner (ex: Dr. Seuss, Little Golden Books)414 Chapter Books, level 1 (grades 1-2)389 Chapter books, level 2 (grades 2-4)245 Chapter books, level 3 (grades 3-5)353 Middle/High school 79 Junie B Jones 95 Captain Underpants214 Goosebumps 27 Diary of a Wimpy Kid (check it out!!!)173 Loose (all levels, counted but not sorted)You’d think after sorting about 800 books today I’d have been able to handle that last 173. Maybe next time.As for the books that couldn’t be used: 24 will be used to barter for credits or points; 35 will be donated to charity; 97 will be taken to Better World Books for recycling.
I was only gone for 24 hours, I swear. I’m home now, and this truck is parked in my garage. It’s full of books and I’m pretending it’s not there.Can I start at the beginning? I’ll make it quick. I left Saturday morning in an empty car. A wedding, some family time, then home.On the way to Macon, I made a quick stop at a used book store in Bishop. Score! A hard-to-find copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. $3.50. See that rug underneath? This book is now sitting on the floor in my foyer. Why? Read on….In Macon, Mom and I went to another used book store and she bought all 4 of their Wimpy Kids. $14.00. (Thanks Mom!). Yep, they’re on the floor too.Shortly after that, Bayne arrives at Mom’s grinning from ear to ear. He’s got a back seat full of books from Smiley’s flea market. $10 for 200+ books. Here they are… on my floor.As we left for the wedding, mom produces another pile of books.And when I get home, two big packages of books are waiting for me, from Bonnie in Prosperity SC. Thanks Bonnie! I’m sorry they’re sitting unopened, on my floor.The reason these books are on the floor in my foyer is because I don’t have anywhere else to put them. You see, I still haven’t put away last week’s books.The big box from Michelle in Canada…The books from Taylor’s tennis book drive….The books I bought at Goodwill on Wednesday….The books that came in the mail on Friday….And that brings me to: The Truck.The [...]
A great way you can help Books for Keeps, even if you don’t have children’s books:If you or your friends/family are buyers of recent adult best-sellers, we’d love to have them when you’re finished! (Cookbooks and gardening books are great, too.) Paperback or hardback, either is fine. I trade adult books to used book stores where I get credit that counts towards 50% of my purchases of kids’ books. I also post lighter-weight books on swap sites for points I then use to get children’s books.My used bookstore credits are running low at a time when I need to buy more books than ever. The middle school and high school lists are going to be challenging. I hope you’ll consider giving me your grown-up books. And tell your friends, book club members, and families.If you have books, I’ll figure out a way to get them. Just send me an email. firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve started the middle school wish list and updated the elementary school wish list. Check them out on the left side of the page. Stay tuned for a high school list. I’m getting the distinct impression that I won’t be finding many of the middle school faves on BookMooch; some are on 50-75+ users’ wishlists. So I’ll be hitting the thrift stores and hoping these titles show up in donations and book drives.Thanks everybody!Melaney
I say it all the time. Send me your books, not your money. But not everybody has books, and some people don’t want to hold a book drive. So I’ve finally accepted that we could do more for the kids if I loosened up a little on this issue.Whatever It Takes has offered to earmark funds for Books for Keeps if donors send a check with Books for Keeps in the memo line. It’ll be tax deductible, they’ll do all the record keeping, and I’ll get to use the money to buy more, more, more books. I’d be crazy to refuse, right?If you would like to make a donation, make your check payable to “Athens-Clarke County Family Connection Inc”, put Books for Keeps in the memo line, and mail to Books for Keeps at PO Box 49761, Athens GA 30604. I promise to make the most of every cent.
Do you ever have so much to tell someone that you can’t figure out where to start, so you just decide not to? That’s how I feel right now. But I’ll try.The book drive is definitely happening. I met with the folks from Whatever It Takes yesterday and left with my head spinning. They think BIG. As in… publicity. Which terrifies me. It’s so, ummm, public.4 media specialists have volunteered to review the book donations for appropriateness. I can handle elementary school, but middle school and high school? No way. There’s some pretty iffy stuff out there, so I’m relieved to have experts to handle this part.My favorite news? The graphic artist for Whatever It Takes is designing a Books for Keeps bookmark. Bookmarks! Oh, and the wife of one of the Whatever It Takes volunteers provided my first middle/high school wish list. Thank you, Ryan and Priscilla! I’m having it reviewed by a few other media specialists so they can add their suggestions to the list, then I’ll get it posted.Hmmm, what else? I met with the principal and media specialist from Clarke Middle School. Tad and Shawn both expressed a sincere eagerness to help and I’m so relieved. Anisa from the Clarke County School District is writing an article about the book drive to include in their monthly publication.Oh! I received some advice from Dr. Allington, who conducted the study measuring the impact of book ownership on learning. His study gave 12 books per child; we’ve only been giving 3 and it really bothers me. He said based on what he’s [...]
My “real life” needs attention today. The only way that’s going to happen is if I swear off Books for Keeps for the next 12 hours.Wait – if I spend most of my time working on Books for Keeps, and very little time on the rest of my life… doesn’t that mean Books for Keeps is my “real life” and everything else is a “side project”? Hmmmm….Anyway, my Athens Overview Commission gig needs work I can’t put off any longer and I have nothing to wear to my sister-in-law’s wedding Saturday. I have nothing to wear today! The laundry is piled so high it could suffocate me. And if I finish everything, I WILL start that job search.But before I go – have you noticed the inventory count creeping higher and higher? Yes!And a quick shout out to our newest contributor: Lindsay from Augusta, GA. Her husband works in Athens sometimes, so she sent along a bag of books. We met in the lobby of St. Mary’s hospital. One of these days I’m going to start photographing these parking lot and lobby rendezvous. Thank you Lindsay and Clay for our latest stack o’ books!7 am to 7 pm. 12 hours to cram in a week’s worth of regular life. But we can’t let Books for Keeps grind to a halt, not even for 12 hours. So while I’m out of commission, how about y’all do my job for me???? Pick a friend or co-worker and encourage that person to clean off his/her bookshelves. Share Books for Keeps on your Facebook page, your blog, on Twitter, anywhere. [...]
My meeting with the folks from Whatever It Takes left me feeling inspired. What if I took a break from day to day book handling, counting, etc. and did a little bit of dreaming? What could happen?Well, the first thing that happened is I woke up at 4am thinking about it. By 6am I had a wish list that sort of scares me. Some highlights:What if Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, came to Athens and spoke to our elementary school students? His favorite books, how he comes up with his characters and story lines, how he became an author…What if Books for Keeps had a Book Mobile, just like some libraries, but one where books are given, not loaned? Handing out books in low-income neighborhoods, rescuing kids from the summer doldrums, increasing the odds they’ll keep reading…What if a group of students adopted Books for Keeps as a class project, and took care of my huge “when there’s time” list that never gets enough attention? Free books, publicity, social media; so many opportunities I’m missing…What if Books for Keeps had somebody else on the ground here in Athens, sharing my obsession and lightening my load? I started with wishing I could clone myself, but decided to imagine setting my control issues aside and having a dream partner who’s just as committed, but smarter.What if Books for Keeps could give 12 books to all 12,000 students in Athens?That last thought brought me back to reality. I mean, I’m still not sure how I got into this in the first place, where it’s going, what I should do next. 144,000 books? [...]
I don’t know if you get tired of reading them, but I never get tired of posting them: thank yous!Shout out to sister Bird and the tennis players in last weekend’s round robin at Bitsy Grant. Bird sent a quick email to attendees letting them know to bring their books, and Books for Keeps netted over 100 books! Some were adult books, which will boost my dwindling inventory of “swappables”. I’m happy to see we’ve added some books for our newly adopted middle and high school students too. Thank you Bird & fellow sweaty-but-generous tennis players!Michelle from Ontario Canada is helping me find new material for the elementary school kids to read. She sent a box of brand new “Go Girl!” books, which will be great for the 1st and 2nd graders. And… she sent another big box packed with over 50 books she’s collected over the past few weeks. Michelle sends me books so often I’m getting carpal tunnel just recording them all. What a great problem to have. Thank you Michelle!Lori from Decatur collected more books from her coworkers… another great box of books for kids of all ages; they’ll find good homes for sure. Lori, I know your gas mileage will improve now that they’re finally out of your trunk. Thank you!Peta from London – 50 BookMooch points??!! Wow – I can certainly put those to good use. Thank you… two days in a row!And today we had another donation from the mysterious BookMoocher “A” . Ok, it’s not really that mysterious. But it’s the second time she? he? [...]