Stories, thoughts, observations, rants and dribble. Just another of my attempts to keep the interested people informed ...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Good Books and good deeds

I've always been consistent in not giving money to beggars, but I'll usually donate to buskers (homeless or not) who impress me, I often donate to established charity campaigns, and I try to donate blood when and where I can (which reminds me, I should really visit the blood bank again soon).

Sometimes I question my choices when it comes to giving back, and I know I don't do enough for the world on a daily basis.  Knowing that I have taken more international flights than a great many people gives me carbon guilt.  The fact that I've gotten used to the comfort of air-conditioning in hot countries does the same. 

So when I was reading the Oxfam newsletter that arrived in my inbox today, I was happy to be reminded of the fantastic service that Good Books provides.  They have over 2 million titles (books, audiobooks, and music) at reasonable prices, ship internationally for free, and all profits go directly to Oxfam.  They promise no mark ups, and ship from both the UK and the US.  It may sound too good to be true, but through their volunteer work and generous sponsorship, you can donate to a good cause (or many good causes) by doing something you probably do once in a while anyway.

If you're reading this post, I propose two things:

1) Suggest a book or CD (or more than one!) for me.  I have been starved of new music and haven't been reading enough lately, and I have decided to buy at least a few titles from Good Books.  If your recommendation is persuasive enough, I'll go with it!  If I get them all shipped together, it will slightly make up for the environmental cost of shipping, right?

2) Order something yourself, or as a gift for someone else.  If you were going to buy books or CDs online anyway, consider checking out this service before you use your usual one.  The NZ dollar is still down, so it might work out to be a similar price, and you'll get that warm fuzzy feeling for free (not to mention the delight of no added shipping costs).

Looking forward to getting some suggestions!

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