Tag Archives: books

Sharing Books with American Troops Overseas

A vintage WWI poster promoting book donations for our soldiers. Photo courtesy of E-Books for Troops.

One of the most common questions I’m asked when talking to book lovers about GoneReading is “How can I donate my books for charity?”  I have a variety of typical responses depending on each person’s situation, but just this week I stumbled across some terrific new options.

With Independence Day upon us here in the United States, these programs seem particularly fitting:  How To Share Books With Our Troops Overseas, courtesy of the folks at GalleyCat, highlights several programs for you to consider.   As you will see, you can help our troops read more by sending your used books, buying new books for yourself through charitable partners, donating your used Kindle, donating cash and more.

So enjoy your Fourth of July weekend, and try to help bring the joy of reading to these dedicated men and women while they serve apart from their families.

Other related stories you might find of interest:

Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/
 
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True Blood Books vs. True Blood TV Show: A Bloody Debate

Don't let Eric catch you reading those Charlaine Harris books.

Book lovers aren’t going to like this one…

The new season of True Blood premieres tonight on HBO, and I’ve got to give credit to their marketing folks for stirring up a timely debate amongst fans in the article 10 Reasons Why True Blood is Better Than The Books Its Based On.  The politically-correct sentiment among literary types is that the book is always better than the movie or TV show; and I agree that it usually is.

But perhaps True Blood is that rare exception.  I have it on good authority that this article brings up some good points:  My wife has rabidly absorbed every single Sookie Stackhouse book (plus several others by Charlaine Harris) and never misses True Blood on TV.  She assures me that this is not an empty debate.

A debate, nonetheless, it is.  Share your comments below and let us know what our loyal Gone Reading fans think of the controversy.  It’s OK to pick the TV show; we’ll love you either way.

P.S.  If you enjoyed this little article, please flatter us by subscribing to this blog via email or RSS Feed.  Doing so plays a big role in supporting our philanthropic mission!

Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/

Must-See Destinations for Readers – The Library of Congress

With this article we begin a new series, GoneReading‘s Must-See Destinations for Readers.  And where else to begin than the “mother ship” as I refer to it, the United States Library of Congress.

I first visited the “LC” last summer shortly after moving to the DC-area.  Although I had been to Washington dozens of times, like many people, the Library simply wasn’t top of mind.  An incredible oversight for this bibliophile.

The architectural wonder of the interior is reason-enough to visit the Library of Congress

So what is the Library of Congress anyway?  According to its website, the Library’s mission is “To support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties… ”    Which explains the tunnel between the U.S. Capital and the Library itself.  The Library was originally formed in 1800 to make sure that Congress had access to the world’s most important written knowledge.  A noble goal in any era; more notably so at a time when libraries barely existed in the U.S.

Over time the Library’s mission expanded to include “(furthering) the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.”  The Library is, above all, a massive collection of information, impressive even in the Internet era.

Why should you visit the Library of Congress?

If you love to read, you owe yourself a trip to the Mother Ship, aka The Library of Congress

  • It’s incredibly beautiful.  I’m not sure there is a building in all of Washington with a more grand, artful, ornate, palace-like  interior.  Bring your camera.
  • The exhibits.  Think of the Library as a museum for bibliophiles and book lovers.  The rotating exhibits are world-class, on par with the best of any major museum.
  • Thomas Jefferson’s Library.  After the original Library of Congress was burned in the War of 1812, Jefferson sold his personal book collection to the United States, forming the nucleus of the new Library.  His vast collection is now set aside for all to see.  If you love perusing bookshelves it simply doesn’t get any better than this.  I literally shivered to see, up close and in person, the actual volumes that Jefferson read.
  • The message it sends to your kids.  The grandeur of the Library, its vastness and beauty, sends a clear message: Reading is important, something to be cherished and valued.  While this message resounds for all, its impact on children is especially indelible.
Not to be forgotten, the Library is a working library available to all “researchers” aged 16 and up.  It does take a little advance planning, including a registration process,in order to access the collections.
And as you might expect, there is a gift shop.  I couldn’t help myself during my first visit.  And although I think the staff was as surprised as anyone, I left the Library with my very own baseball cap from the LC.  I wear it almost every weekend with proud distinction, much to my wife’s chagrin.
For visitor information on the Library of Congress, click here.

Please share your comments below…

Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/

7 Online Tools for Readers: The Websites Less-Traveled

If you love to read, you’ve undoubtedly spent much time online in the quest for ways to further enhance this timeless passion we call reading.  Whether it’s searching for a rare printed volume, investigating a hidden metaphor, or putting together your wish-list of books and related merchandise, Google can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

And so the GoneReading team was unanimous in its decision to start curating a list of amazing online resources for readers.  And while I admit that I’ve spent more than my share of time on Amazon, our goal is to help you find websites and tools that most readers have never heard of, the websites less-traveled, if you will.

We start with the seven listed below, but this is just the beginning.  We need your own recommendations, and those of your reader friends, to make this list truly authentic and useful.  So check out the sites listed below and leave a comment with your own recommendations.  We’ll check them out, and make the best-of-the-best available to all.

The Book Seer provides great suggestions on what to read next.

Book Recommendations

There are a gazillion book recommendation sites and blogs, so many that we’re going to devote an upcoming article to the topic.  But for starters here are two interesting options:

  • Bookseer is an automated search tool that simply asks you what you’ve just finished reading, and immediately spits out a selection of books to consider.  Nice and simple.
  • More unusual is AllReaders, which actually provides book recommendations based on the plot, setting or character of your choosing.  You can select unbelievably detailed scenarios.  Interested in crime thrillers that feature slightly humorous ninjas?  Then this is the site for you.

Book Buying & Swapping

  • If you’re buying books online and want a great site that uses the profits to support libraries and literacy (just like GoneReading) then you can’t do any better then Better World Books.  They’ll even buy your used books and pay for the shipping.  Great company and business model.
  • If you want to compare the price of a book between online sellers then check out AddAll.  For used and out of print books click here.
  • Want to swap books with other readers for free?  Try BookIns.

Audio Books

If you really want more learning and literature in your life but don’t have time to sit down and read, we can’t say enough about audio books.  Turn that long commute into the most enjoyable part of your day by checking out the following:

  • LibriVox offers an incredible selection of free audio books.
  • I’ve become a huge fan of The Great Courses in recent years.  While the courses aren’t exactly cheap, they offer a tremendous range of original material from the best professors in the world.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed their courses on topics as disparate as economics and classical mythology.

So that’s the short list.  Please share your comments below…

Bradley S. Wirz, Founder & CEO
http://www.gonereading.com/
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