International Literacy Day

Literacy: What exactly does it mean? Do we still have literacy problems in the modern world? Well, on a basic level it means to possess the ability to read and write efficiently. Beyond the basics, it also includes recognition of languages and cultures within the learning process. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization had this to say about International Literacy Day:

“Our world is rich and diverse with about 7,000 living languages. These languages are instruments for communication, engagement in lifelong learning, and participation in society and the world of work. They are also closely linked with distinctive identities, cultures,  worldviews,  and  knowledge  systems.  Embracing  linguistic  diversity in education  and  literacy  development  is  therefore  a  key  part  of  developing  inclusive  societies that  respect “diversity”  and “difference”, upholding human dignity”. Audrey Azoulay, Director General, Message on the occasion of the International Literacy Day

Literacy rates have been on the upswing across the globe with some countries reaching a 100% literacy rate. While that is amazing, the United States and others haven’t reached the 100% rate yet. (For more information on literacy rates around the globe click here to go to UNESCO site for actual numbers.) According to UNESCO, there are still 750 million illiterate people around the world with the largest percentage being female. We can each reach out and help someone become confident and self-sufficient within our own communities. This issue can be solved if we work first within our communities and then globally. Take time this week to ponder the blessings of a free education and how you can bless the life of someone struggling to read or write.

“‘Let us pick up our books and our pens,’ I said. ‘They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.’” (Page 310) Malala Yousafzai I Am Malala (Incredible book that changed my perspective and worldview forever.)

Join DiscoverBooks.com in celebrating the accomplishments of this journey towards 100% literacy rates by Reading a Book to a Child, Working with an Adult, or Just Enjoying Your Own Literacy by Reading a Book on World Issues.

Enter coupon code ILD2019 to save 15% off all books purchased now through Sept. 22nd.

Tribute to J.R.R Tolkien

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” -The Fellowship of the Ring J.R.R. Tolkien

COUPON CODE TOLKIEN2019 AT CHECKOUT

J.R.R. Tolkien chose to spend his time enlightening the imaginations of millions of readers throughout the world. He created worlds of his own and left part of himself on this earth contained within his stories.

Yesterday marked the 46th anniversary of the death of this creative soul. His life experiences and beliefs are captured in print forever. All we need to do is open our minds to the worlds he shaped to help us better understand how to live in this world.

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Tolkien’s book(s) beckon us to move forward against all adversity, trials, and self-doubt. The journey is before us every day and we can rise to the challenge of it and face it with courage. #Letthestoriesliveon

Tolkien’s life represents this concept. His life was marked with adversity from a young age. First, when his father died and left the family with no income. His mother, brother, and self moved in with his mother’s family in Birmingham England. His mother taught him at home which allowed him to explore subjects he loved such as botany, nature, languages, and fairy-tales. He loved to read George MacDonald and Andrew Lang (wikipedia) Second, when at twelve years of age, his dear mother passed.

During World War I, he was a second lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers. He had already married Edith Bratt by this time. The separation was long and hard as it was for many during that time. Life was a journey and he was facing it head on.

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September 21, 1937 marks the publication day of his first novel The Hobbit. It is here, we begin the matter of fact journey into mythical creatures and beings not yet imagined. The world was suffering from the great depression, the Hindenburg disaster, and the dust bowl not to mention Hitler was setting the stage for Germany’s world domination campaign. The campaign against the Jewish people was just beginning as Tolkien introduced his imaginary world with Bilbo, Gandalf, and the dwarves to mention a few. #Letthesstoriesliveon

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Join us on a quest to remember and honor this creative mind by reading either again or for the first time one of his fantasy novels. Perhaps, you haven’t read his commentary on Beowulf and would enjoy it. Try a book about Tolkien or his worlds. Find them all at Discover Books. Use Coupon Code Tolkien2019 at checkout for a 15% discount on all books. Good until 9/8/2019.


Hello Labor Day

Labor Day. The day of sales. The transitional end of summer vacation. The call to go one last time to the beach, camping, boating, or to host a barbecue. The signal to get serious in your studies. The herald of fall, football, school, and cozy blanket weather. But what does it mean? Who started it? What exactly are we celebrating?

Labor Day begins with the industrial revolution and the moving away from the homestead into the city for work. It ends with you and how you celebrate your opportunities for employment. It’s more than just a holiday. It’s a day about people, labor, history, industry, and law. It’s about Americans who believed in living life and not just surviving. #Letthestoriesliveon

I’m a people person. I like to understand and comprehend how people think, live, feel, and express themselves in all times. As humans, we analyze, categorize thoughts and ideas as we watch and learn about people. Let’s begin our journey to learn together. #Letthestoriesliveon

From the Lewis Hine's Collection Library of Congress. In 1954 the Library received the records of the National Child Labor Committee, . . . 350 negatives by Lewis Hine. In giving the collection to the Library, the NCLC stipulated that "There will be no restrictions of any kind on your use of the Hine photographic material."
Library of Congress Lewis Hines Collection

Labor Day is an opportunity to glimpse back through history to a time when industry was king. People flocked to it. Families worked to create it with little in return. As we turn back time, we see fathers with large families laboring in dirty, dim factories or mines to bring something, anything home to their families. Mothers struggling to keep house and a job that required 12+ hours a day, 7 days a week. Children as young as four crowded into factories because they were cheap labor. We see the business owners trying to balance the cost of business with profits.

Library of Congress Lewis Hine Collection

We see life. Life in a different era. We struggle not to judge, but use it as an example for our own lives. Gratitude. Gratitude for those who risked everything to change the system. Men like Peter J. McGuire and Matthew Maguire, who are accredited with bringing us what is now known as Labor Day which was established as a federal law 1894. A day for celebrating the accomplishments of American workers.

Lives were altered, ended, supported, and made throughout the history of the industrial revolution. Learning about those lives and their impact on history helps us develop an understanding of the many blessings we have because of those who came before, and the legacy we want to leave for those who come after. #Letthestoriesliveon

Book Recommendations for your personal journey through the industrial revolution through the campaign to better conditions for workers and the enactment of the LABOR DAY HOLIDAY. Enjoy your long weekend. (And thank you to those who will work during the holiday to keep us safe and comfortable.) Use code LABOR19 at checkout for a 15% discount.


Dr. Seuss’s Birthday – Read Across America

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Saturday, March 2, is not only a day to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday, it is also the NEA’s Read Across America event.  Thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers celebrate by bringing together kids, teens, and books.  If you’d like to get involved, you can find out more here.

mullberyStreetDo you remember your first Dr. Seuss book?  The odds are you can’t if your parents started reading to you at a very young age…just as I have done with my children.  But surely we have our favorites.  Wocket in my Pocket (for its silliness), To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street (for the imagination), and of course How the Grinch Stole Christmas (for the change of heart).

Dr. Seuss is not only a star in the book world.  His books have become huge movies and TV shows.  The first Grinch movie came out in 1966, and has been a must-watch movie each year.  Who can forget the song You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch (as sung by Thurl Ravenscroft – he also provided the voice of Tony the Tiger for Frosted Flakes commercials “They’re Great!”)?  Then in 2000, a live-action movie version of the book came out starring Jim Carrey.  And just last year, a new CGI movie version of the book came out under the title The Grinch.  These serves as a reminder of the staying power of Dr. Seuss’s story-telling.

 

Other recent movies include 2003’s The Cat in the Hat, 2008’s Horton Hears a Who!, and 2012’s The Lorax.

catInHatPremiering in 2010, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! is a TV series featuring the voice of Martin Short as the cat who takes Nick and Sally, the Fish, and Thing One and Thing two on adventures in his Thinga-ma-jigger “vehicle.”  The series focuses on science and learning concepts.   A tie-in book series has been published too, exposing another generation to new variations of the Seuss world.

To celebrate Reading Across America and Dr. Seuss’s birthday, we’re having a “Buy 2 Books, Save 15%” promotion.  Enter the coupon code SEUSS19 on the cart page.  Good through March 2, 2019.  And let books take you to all the places you will go.

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New Donation Bins Acquired in the Northeast

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This is great news for our customers and our mission.  Read the release below:

Press Release – For Immediate Release

“Discover Books” acquires book collection bin assets of “Big Hearted Books, LLC.”

BOSTON, MA – BALTIMORE, MD – August 22nd, 2018 – The United States Federal Bankruptcy Court District of Massachusetts Eastern Division recently authorized the sale of the collection box assets of Big Hearted Books and Clothing, LLC, aka Got Books, to Discover Books, a Baltimore-based organization, with operations throughout the United States and Canada.  These collection boxes service the Northeast including Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York.

“This acquisition furthers our mission to provide gently used, affordable books to consumers and donations to our literacy partners.  Moreover, it strengthens our ability to responsibly recycle remainders for reuse providing an essential service for the residents of the Northeast,” states Gary Broache, CEO of Discover Books.

Since the bankruptcy of Big Hearted Books, many of the collection boxes have not been serviced resulting in many questions and concerns for the hosts.  “With the recent court authorization occurring on August 20th, we are committed to making all efforts to service partner locations,” states Mr. Broache.  “The additional and timely servicing of over 1,200 new collection boxes is a big task, and we ask for the patience of our new partners while we get our teams rolling.”

Discover Books logistics personnel are already addressing the most urgent service needs while doing a comprehensive review of all locations in an effort to find, identify and validate the bins and communicate directly with each of the host partners.  “We are committed to our mission and greatly appreciate the loyalty of our new partners,” Broache says.

An 888 toll free number and email address have been established to communicate any partner service needs and questions regarding the recent acquisition.  Please call 888-402-BOOK (2665), or email bins@discoverbooks.com.

Visit us at www.discoverbooks.com to find out more information on our program and find affordable books.

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Discover Books, a for-profit company, is one of the largest online used book sellers and sources of literary donations to charitable organizations in North America.  Discover Books collects used books through thrift stores, library partnerships, residential pick-up operations, and book collection boxes across the U.S. and Canada.  The company resells, donates, or responsibly recycles used books to achieve its mission.  To date, Discover Books has donated more than 12 million books to those in need and has diverted over 500 million pounds of books from landfills.

Parents Survival Guide While Kids Are Away at College…”Sniffle, Sniffle”…

It’s that time of year again when the children are back in school and for school-age children and even high schooler’s, that means that parents are probably doing a little bit of a happy dance…don’t deny it, you’re a little excited even if you don’t want to admit it.

But what about the parents of kids in college? ESPECIALLY freshmen college students who have recently left the nest for the first time?! In the excitement and chaos that came with packing up their new college student and getting them off safely, no one stopped to think about the parents and how hard it must have been to see their children leave!

Popsugar.com even posted an article recently about our former POTUS, Barack Obama, and how he cried when Malia left for college. The Secret Service would likely deny any knowledge of this but Barack came out and said,

“I dropped off Malia at college, and…it was a little bit like open-heart surgery. I was proud that I did not cry in front of her.  But on the way back, the Secret Service was off, looking straight ahead, pretending they weren’t hearing me as I sniffled and blew my nose. It was rough.”

You can read the full article here but I would imagine that a lot of parents can relate and while those with younger children in school look forward to a little, teeny bit of extra free time to get things done, those with college students are probably scrambling….looking for anything and everything that they can do to get their mind off of their son/daughter being gone.

So today, you are in luck. We have listed below the top 3 books that will help you cope, understand and make the most of the time that you spend away from your (all grown up) little baby!

Check them out below at www.DiscoverBooks.com for next to nothing so that you can keep your emotions AND your wallet in-tact until Christmas break!! YAY!!

1) Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years by Helen E. Johnson

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2) You’re On Your Own (But I’m Here if You Need Me) by Marjorie Savage

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3) Letting Go: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years by Karen Levin Coburn

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BREAKING NEWS! Why We Do What We Do!

This past week, the ABC News 5 Cleveland team out of Cleveland, OH featured a segment on their show that epitomizes why we do what we do. They open the exclusive segment with a staggering statistic….Nearly 66% of Cleveland residents are “functionally illiterate.”

This means that reading something as simple as a medicine bottle can be a challenge. And if adults are having a hard time reading, this can only mean that children will have a hard time reading as well.

Worse yet, 2 out of 3 low-income children in Cleveland (and likely many cities in the U.S.) don’t own a single book.

But there is hope!….Queue our INCREDIBLE partner, The Cleveland Book Bank, and the good work that they do. We are fortunate enough to get to be a part of the process at the Cleveland Book Bank and supply roughly 95% of all of the books that they donate…and it’s a lot of books. These books are carefully sorted and handed out to children for free so that they can begin developing their literacy skills!

This is absolutely the reason why Discover Books does what we do. Literacy is SO important and in order to read, you need to have books!

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Watch the full video now and don’t forget, DONATE, DONATE, DONATE!! You can donate to the Cleveland Book Bank directly if you live in the area. If not, you can click here to find the closest Discover Books drop box to your location and trust that we will make sure the books find a new home and a loving family that will #letthestoriesliveon.

 

Miss Maryland Princess 2016 Visits Discover Books!!

Last week we had a Discover Books FIRST! Brace yourselves!!!!…..We met with Miss Maryland Princess 2016, TaLiyah McColl!! TaLiyah is working her way up to becoming a Miss America candidate!!! Can you believe it!? A future Miss America was at Discover Books! We are SO excited! She is one of the sweetest, most wise-beyond-her-years young girls that we have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Not to mention she is extremely generous and focused on helping others!

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Meeting with TaLiyah was amazing and awe-inspiring because she stopped by Discover Books to collect about 100 books (that was all her and her mom could carry on this trip…but they will be back for more!) for her mission to donate them to young readers in the area! She supports the platform, Readers are Leaders, and holds book drives so that young children can have books of their very own!

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The founder of Readers are Leaders, Wendell Byrd, says:

“The Readers Are Leaders program offers a path to success for struggling elementary school readers by creating opportunities for growth and achievement. We target students who need a helping hand today so that they may become the responsible citizens, problem solvers, and leaders of tomorrow.”

We are so inspired to see TaLiyah along with her fellow sister queens using their notoriety to make a difference in the lives of other children. Their mission is right in line with what we do at Discover Books…promoting literacy…and we could not be happier to be an ongoing partner for TaLiyah and the work that she does!

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TaLiyah told us that she will be back to get more books soon and will bring an army of future Miss America contestants with her! We CANNOT wait and we will update you on our next visit and their donation recipients just as soon as we can!

You’ve Been Donating, So We’ve Been Busy!

At Discover Books, we cannot express our gratitude for the donations that our followers and supporters give to us. Every month we receive THOUSANDS of donated books that are just waiting for their chance at a new life. Our goal is to Let The Stories Live On and find new happy homes for the donated books where they will be cherished for years to come.

In order to find homes for such an overwhelming amount of donations (which is a FANTASTIC problem to have!!) we rely on the outreach and support of our non-profit and school partners! These organizations know where the books are needed and how to get them into the hands of children that will love them.

Literacy is the goal and there are plenty of books to go around so we wanted to share with you just the tiniest TIP of the iceberg that is our Discover Books donation program.

What you will see in the pictures below represents a teeny, tiny fraction of the donations that we do within our local market communities.  EVERY. SINGLE. BOOK. and EVERY. SINGLE. DONATION. is very important to us and we want to show you who your donations are going to and how they are living on with new stories to tell.  From Maryland, to Ohio, to California and everywhere in between, these donated books are finding new homes and we couldn’t be happier!

These pictures are from the La Milla de Mayo (The May Mile) run/walk in Gaithersburg, MD. Participants are invited to celebrate the race’s completion with music, food, Salsa dancing, and Cinco de Mayo festivities. Free Kids Fun Runs kick off the race! Runners of all ages and levels are eligible to register for this event and receive free books at the finish line! How awesome is that!

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This glamour shot is from the inside of the Cleveland Book Bank in Cleveland, OH! Since March of 2016, the Cleveland Kids Book Bank has redistributed over 630,000 kids books from the donations that we receive!  They are doing amazing work in Cleveland, and are looking forward to growing!!!

Here is a smorgasbord of amazing photos from some of the local donations that we have done in the Bay Area of California recently! Featured schools pictured here are Vintage Parkway Elementary, Tracy Elementary, and Oakley Elementary! There is no doubt that these books are finding the happiest of new homes!!

Above all, thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting us and donating your gently used books to our cause! If you have never donated before, that’s okay too! You can find a list of our drop off locations here and you can search by zip code!! Who knows, maybe your donated book will show up in one of the pictures on our blog or website soon!!

#letthestoriesliveon