Library love (in rural India)

Gone Reading is an American company marketing products for readers.

What, you ask, are products for readers; surely one needs nothing more than light and a book?

Um, sort of. Bookmarks are nice. Bookends, booklights, bookish games …. yeah, quite a few things actually.

If you’re planning to get a reading light, a journal, T-shirts or mugs with reading-themed epigrams, please consider Gone Reading. They donate 100% of their profits to charity. Specifically, to charities that promote literacy. More specifically, to charities promoting literacy in the developing world. Like this one, you picky-picky devils.

That’s a picture of a library in Geejhar, India, that Gone Reading and a local charity READ Global are building together. Here’s what Brad Wirz, CEO of Gone Reading had to say in his email:

“GoneReading just started marketing itself in September, but our goal is to bring the magic of reading to the far corners of the world by providing significant funding to organizations such as READ.  We donated just $4,500 last year, but our goal is to quadruple that amount in 2012, growing significantly from there.  GoneReading donates 100% of its after-tax profits.  We’re lean and mean, with an all-volunteer staff…”

Hear ye: philanthropy and the capitalist business model need not be mutually exclusive. So, instead of Amazon or Chapters or Brookstone or Williams-Sonoma or wherever you’d normally shop for such items, do consider Gone Reading, where your funds will help get kids reading. Gone Reading will further sweeten the deal by offering a 25% discount to all readers of this blog. Please please use NIRANJANA25 at the checkout (ends April 7, 2012).

Here are some of Gone Reading’s products. I was rather taken with these bookends.

And this game would pair well with a robust red.

And this cake charm bookmark is quite delish.

And if you usually shop at Oxfam or Ten Thousand Villages, well, yes.

Disclaimer: I’m writing about Gone Reading because they are a non-profit working in an area I’m interested in; I have not been compensated for this post. Gone Reading did send me this small but perfectly formed reading light that my son immediately appropriated.

I can testify that despite a week’s worth of abuse at the hands of a four-year-old who attempted to tie the stem into a love-knot, the light still works fine.


I also wanted to share this moving story from Canadian novelist Terry Fallis, whose book club remembered a member lost to cancer by setting up a library in her name.  The group wanted to “find a fitting way for us to honour what Vicki had meant to our humble monthly gathering of book lovers.  […] Money was raised and other arrangements made, and on January 31, 2012, there was a grand opening. In Dhaberi, a small farming village in central India, a children’s library opened its doors for business. Vicki’s Library. The funds donated purchased 500 children’s books and will pay a librarian for two hours a day, to work with the children and check out their books. Our book club has pledged to keep the library open. I cannot think of a better way to honour a good friend who loved books and reading as much as Vicki did. ”

Please read the entire story here.


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