May 16th, 2011

“Books for Charity” really run by for-profit company that pulps most

I’ve been seeing these big blue bins every place. They are labeled "Books for Charity."  But the Oregonian reports that “most of the books do not land in the hands of nonprofits or literacy groups. The bins are managed by a for-profit company, Thrift Recycling Management, which ships the books to its headquarters in Lakewood, Wash., for sorting. Thrift then sells 25 percent at online websites such as Amazon, pulps about 50 percent and then hands the remaining 25 percent to nonprofits.”

Oh, and about those non-profits. It should really say “non-profit” because nearly 90 percent of the donations go to just one non-prfoit, Reading Tree - which is owned by the same people who own Thrift Recycling Management.

Meanwhile, the big blue bins are taking books away from library fundraisers and other true non-profits that actually use or sell the books, as opposed to pulping 50 percent.

Read more here.

If you live in Portland and really want to donate books to kids, then chose The Children’s Book Bank.

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Even these rejected book covers are winners

I love me some book covers. On Sunday, the New York Times said: "Designers can generate as many as 50 covers for high-profile books, though a half-dozen or so is more typical." They listed some of the many reasons a book cover might get shot down (white covers don't look good on Amazon, for example, and then showcased some book covers that were stillborn.

Take a look at these gorgeous covers that didn't quite make the cut.

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Do you need a laugh?

Do you need a laugh?

Do you have a slightly (or more than slightly) twisted sense of humor?

Then you need to read some David Thorne. As Shelf Awareness says, "Thorne has gained a wide following for his wickedly humorous articles and e-mail correspondences, including "Overdue Account," about an attempt to settle a debt with a drawing of a spider, and "It's Like Twitter," in which he takes a former colleague to task for asking him to design a logo gratis."

My absolute favorite is the increasingly off-kilter correspondence between him and a neighbor who wants him to design a missing cat poster. [Warning: do not read if you are someplace where you can't be overheard laughing.]

Thorne has a new book out that collects all his best bits: The Internet is a Playground: Irreverent Correspondences of an Evil Online Genius. You need this book!

And at bookstores coast to coast, you can pay $1 to have a picture taken with a lock of his hair (a parody of something that really happened with Justin Bieber's locks.)

Read more about the author, his hair, and the book here.

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