Black History Month

The month of February is a time to reflect on the rich history and accomplishments of Americans with African ancestry. It’s a time to reflect on what “Can Be”. (A Reason to Celebrate and Share Our History by Cris Clay) It is a time to stand united and look forward to the future with optimism and hope. This month provides the opportunity of a deep learning experience across different cultures.

Discover Books is pleased to highlight some of the great African-American authors who have left an indelible mark on the history of time. The history is rich and the poetry, stories, and people are unforgettable. Each week this month, we will highlight the great African-American authors and their messages to the world.

Phyllis Wheatley was the first African-American woman to publish a book of poetry. She found her voice and freedom through her poetry. Born in West Africa and sold into slavery at the age of 7 or 8. She was emancipated after publishing her works. Her story is tragic but her words are beautiful. Her life is embedded deep within her writings. Born in 1753 and died in 1784 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Maya Angelou was an American poet, singer, and civil rights activist working with both Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry. She has been awarded over 50 honorary degrees. At the inauguration of Bill Clinton, Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” (1993). This was the first time a poet recited at an inauguration since Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration. Born in 1928 and died in 2014.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.”

-Maya Angelou

Langston Hughes used jazz rhythms in his works leading to the art form known as jazz poetry. People’s love for poetry in the 1920s was dwindling, but he was connecting with his audience through the use of easily relatable language, themes, attitudes.

He was one of the main contributors of the Harlem Renaissance, and known for his colorful portrayals of Black life from the 1920s-1960s. Hughes wrote plays, short stories, poetry, and several books. He focused on change and using art to change people’s perspectives and worldviews. Born in 1902 and died in 1967.

“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun?… Or does it explode?”

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly”

“I’ve known rivers: I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”

– Langston Hughes

W.E.B. Du Bois was an activist, sociologist, educator, historian, and prolific writer. He was one of the most influential African American thought leaders of the 20th century. It wasn’t until his college years that he began to see the effects of racism. His thesis, The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870 remains an authoritative work on the subject. Born in 1868 died in 1963.

“A true and worthy ideal frees and uplifts a people; a false ideal imprisons and lowers.”

“I believe in Liberty for all men; the space to stretch their arms and their souls; the right to breathe and the right to vote, the freedom to choose their friends, enjoy the sunshine and ride on the railroads, uncursed by color; thinking, dreaming, working as they will in the kingdom of God and love.”

“Read some good, heavy, serious books just for discipline: Take yourself in hand and master yourself.”

-W.E.B. Du Bois

Discover Books will continue throughout this month to highlight the contributions of these great writers. Join us on this incredible journey and Let The Stories Live On.

The Gift of Reading

What does reading do for us? Why is there such an emphasis on reading? Reading envelopes us in words, ideas, mental images that build our intelligence and imagination. It is the foundation for knowledge and education. It opens up all possibilities and hope. Math, science, art are all propped up on the foundation of reading.

So, what happens if you can’t see? In this high-tech world, does it matter? Charlotte Cushman addresses this very issue in her article Celebrate Braille Literacy Month. Cushman’s answer is quite telling and obvious. “Is it important for a sighted child to learn to read because audible books exist?” Point taken. Everyone deserves an opportunity to read the words for themselves. This allows their minds to wrestle with the tone, voice, and emotions of the characters, which helps build empathy as well as imagination.

Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

January is Braille Literacy Month. It is in honor of Louis Braille who was born January 4th, 1809. Who was Louis Braille? He was one of four children of Monique Braille and Simon-Rene Braille. His father was a saddler and Louis would play in his father’s workshop often. When he was three, he had an accident. He was playing with an awl trying to put it through a piece of leather and the tool slipped and hit him in one eye. They couldn’t save the eye. Within a few years, an infection in that eye spread to the good eye and Louis was completely blind. He was five years old.

Braille was lucky enough to attend one of the first schools for the blind in Paris. In 1821, Braille learned of a French Army Captain who had developed a system of communication called night writing. It was done on thick paper with dots and dashes. It allowed soldiers to feel the paper to know the message-no light necessary.

Braille learned the system but felt it was too complicated. By 15, he condensed Barbier’s 12 dots into 6 and found a way to use a 6-dot cell in a fingertip size area. By 1829, he published his system which included symbols for mathematics and music. Braille was offered a professorship where he taught history, geometry, and algebra. He was an accomplished musician as well. He died young at 43 years of age in 1852.

The system wasn’t accepted by academia at first and the blind were forced to learn it on their own. It was a few years after his death that his system was accepted by the Royal Academy and the French government. He became a national hero. (They even exhumed his body to move it to have it buried in the Pantheon in Paris with other national heroes.)

Learning sign language is encouraged at most schools, but it is rare to find a public school encouraging students to learn braille unless they are blind. DiscoverBooks.com invites you this month to discover a new skill, a new idea, or even a new way to serve. Discover more about Louis Braille’s story or decide to learn to read Braille.

Save 10% off your entire order by using coupon code BRAILLE10 at checkout. This coupon is good until 1/31/2020.

7 Reasons to Buy Used Books

1). Help Local Communities

An important part of our sorting process allows us to identify books that are better suited to become donations to literacy-focused or community-based non-profit organizations, including libraries and schools. The scale of our operation enables us to donate millions of good-quality children’s books to wonderful organizations doing all kinds of important work. By purchasing a used book from us, you enable us to contribute to others. We have donated over 10 million books to non-profits in the United States and globally. 

2). Save Your Wallet

Buying used is 50%-70% less expensive than buying new. More money saved means more books to buy. Couple this with our discover books bucks program and our bundle packs and you have a win/win situation. Spend less – get more. Shipping is free within the lower 48 states. 

3). Good for the Environment 

The average person gives little thought about where their recyclables end up.  The recycling industry is in trouble. China’s National Sword policy has banned various solid wastes from coming into their country. Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and India have all followed suit. Recycling initiatives around the country are struggling under the rising rates of recycling. Many cities and states have had to resort to dumping it back into the landfills because of the rising prices of recycling. Estimates of over 2 billion pounds of books

Does this mean we should give up on recycling? No. We need to continue to educate while solutions are researched. It will take time to find a more permanent solution to this complex problem. Reusing is the alternative we must encourage.  We fundamentally believe reuse is the best possible form of recycling, and our business model is centered on this core value. This focus allows us to get used books into the hands of people who want and need them most rather than allowing them to become waste or to languish unread.

Millions of books are printed in the USA every year. Many of these books already exist. Purchasing re-commerced books can help keep books out of landfills, saves trees, and lower the overall footprint. Buying used and giving a second life to an already existing item requires a paradigm shift.  Reused is a commitment to the environment and isn’t about financial status. Re-commerce books lets the story live on.

4). Take Advantage of the First Sale Doctrine

This legal concept allows a legally purchased copyrighted item to be resold after the original transfer of title. This particular concept is a major win for the environment, charity organizations, and society in general. Think about how many times a product can be used and by how many different people.

5). Find Unexpected Treasures

Receiving a used book is like receiving insights into someone else’s life. It engages the imagination into solving who owned it before. What were they experiencing when they wrote this? Who gave them the book? It’s an endless supply of mysteries only your imagination can solve. It’s a story within the story. The book’s timeline and history grow and become more engaging with your engagement. 

Our inventory changes daily. You never know what you’ll find at discoverbooks.com. Who doesn’t love to find vintage and 1st edition books? Not to mention, the artwork in an old book is worth collecting.


6). Tuition Costs are Rising

Textbooks are a major education expense. Save money by finding them used. What college student doesn’t want extra money in their pocket. You can save 50%-75% off new textbooks prices. (Did we already state the savings to the environment?)

7). Make your Parents Proud and be Hip at the Same Time

Your parents always wanted you to read more. Buying used books is an inexpensive way to build a library.  Having a completely REUSED library will put you on top of the cool charts. Or if you are a bit younger, add having a REUSED library at the top of your Squad Goal chart. 

Discover Books believes in re-commerce as a way to help save money and the environment, while helping local communities and global charities. Buying used books from discoverbooks.com is a win/win for everyone. Discover your new adventure today.

New Donation Bins Acquired in the Northeast

book bin

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.

re-re-re

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.

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!

news

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!

1

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!

4

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!

25

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!

Cleveland Book Bank.jpg

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

Back at it Again…Barber Shop Style!

One of our favorite non-profits in our Baltimore/DC market is back at it with plans to give away 1,000+ books in a really creative way! Tyler, the CEO of Kid Time Enterprises and his mom Andrea do everything that they can to make sure that children have books available to read. Andrea has seen first hand how the gift of books has made an amazingly positive impact on Tyler’s life and she wants to help him reach other kids and their families in the same way.

18275270_1274132319370181_8573831509710006955_n

Discover Books was proud to donate books to help with their most recent venture – the Festival of Literary Arts (FOLA) in Prince George’s County, MD from May 3rd through May 13th. The event was actually inspired by Tyler and his #1000bookgiveaway and is an extension of his vision. The FOLA site says:

“The initiative to encourage youth to read at home was created by the 5-year-author. To date, over 2,500 books have been distributed through the traveling book festival.”

You can find a list of location on their site where books are available if you live in the area!

Here are some pictures and a video of Tyler’s quest to make sure that the barber shops and salons in the area are stocked with books for young readers so that they can enjoy them and take them home after their haircuts! He even up-cycled and restored the furniture to house the books at each location! How amazing!!

Keep it up Tyler and thank you for letting us be a part of your vision!!

Tyler’s Furniture Recycling Video: Click Here

Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank Defers Over 141 Tons of Books from Shredding!

This week’s blog post is dedicated to one of our fantastic non-profit partners who has recently broken a book-saving record. Discover Books first started working with the Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank in November of 2015. The partnership allows Discover Books to work hand in hand with the Book Bank to donate hundreds of thousands of free children’s books to the Cleveland area and keep the books in the hands of happy readers instead of having them end up in recycling bins or the landfill!! YAY!

Since 2013 children throughout Cleveland neighborhoods have enjoyed taking books from 60 Little Free Libraries that the Kids’ Book Bank installed and supports. The books fly out of the Little Free Libraries so the children needed an endless supply of books.

In our first 13 months as partners with them, the Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank has distributed 466,475 amazing children’s books through more than 350 partner organizations and their Little Free Libraries!! This is truly groundbreaking.

The most recent post from our fabulous partner boasts a record-breaking 141 TONS of books that have had a chance to go to a happy new home instead of a recycling bin or landfill….Talk about Letting The Stories Live On! Sheesh!!

We couldn’t be happier to continue working with them to keep fueling their missing and keeping the stories alive! Way to go Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank!! Here are some photos to show you the absolute magic that they are making happen in Cleveland.

Want to get involved?! Head over to www.DiscoverBooks.com or www.kidsbookbank.org to learn more about both programs and ways that you can donate and help!